Forbidden Broadway Sp0405


fye.000000400159459269 4/26/05 Used
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    Forbidden Broadway Sp0405 DRG / DRG Theater

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Review Text With 23 years having passed since the inception of Forbidden Broadway, parodist Gerard Alessandrini's continually updated off-Broadway revue is up to eight recorded volumes with this edition, subtitled, with a nod to a certain TV series known for giving work to New York theater actors, "Special Victims Unit." Using a pianist and a talented cast of four (augmented here by returning cast member Christine Pedi), Alessandrini looks closely and with a critical eye at current and recent Broadway productions for each edition, writing new lyrics to familiar tunes and having his performers impersonate stage stars. He not only skewers specific shows, but also trends. For example, here he takes "You Gotta Get a Gimmick" from Gypsy and writes "You Gotta Get a Puppet," which primarily makes fun of Avenue Q, but also includes other shows such as The Lion King and Little Shop of Horrors that rely on puppetry. The trend toward "jukebox" musicals filled with established pop hits, such as Movin' Out, All Shook Up, and Good Vibrations, comes in for repeated attention, as does the tendency toward bringing in fading movie stars like Brooke Shields to improve the box office. Nor does Alessandrini restrict himself to musical theater. Two tracks, "'Night Mother" and "I Am My Own Cast," take on straight plays from the 2003-2004 season, and "Welcome to the Tonys" (set to the tune of "Welcome to the Sixties" from Hairspray) finds him attacking the Tony Awards show and the restriction of the Tonys to Broadway productions, excluding the many off- and off-off-Broadway productions (among them Forbidden Broadway, of course) playing in New York. In the concluding number, "La Cage Aw Full," Alessandrini seems to suggest that he's really just kidding and that things are great, but his criticisms of the previous 65 minutes have been so sharp and harsh that it's hard to believe he didn't mean it all. Rather, his satire, as usual, seems anchored in a sensibility that says the golden age of Ethel Merman and Rodgers & Hammerstein is being betrayed every night on Broadway. Of course, the people most likely to appreciate the jokes are those who are familiar with the shows and the theater community he attacks, people who probably share his love/hate relationship with early-21st century Broadway. ~ William Ruhlmann

Track Listing

CD: 1

  1. 1. The Crime Scene (Tomorrow / On Broadway) - 4:24
  2. 2. Forbidden Broadway: Special Victims Unit - 2:31
  3. 3. Bombay Wet Dreams (Lullaby of Broadway / Hooray For Hollywood) - 2:20
  4. 4. You Gotta Get A Puppet (You Gotta Get A Gimmick) - 3:12
  5. 5. It Sucks To Be Us (It Sucks To Be Me) - 4:07
  6. 6. Thoroughly Perky Millie (Thoroughly Modern Millie) - 2:03
  7. 7. Movin' Out (My Life) - 2:05
  8. 8. 'night Mother (That's Amore / Ma, He's Making Eyes at Me) - 3:20
  9. 9. Welcome To The Tonys (Welcome To The Sixties) - 3:15
  10. 10. The Boy Who's Odd (I Go To Rio / Everything Old is New Again) - 3:05
  11. 11. I Love Patti (I Love Paris) - 2:25
  12. 12. Das Mel Brooks Song (Haben Sie Gehört Das Deutsche Band?) - 1:16
  13. 13. Wickeder (Popular / Defying Gravity) - 6:02
  14. 14. No Leading Lady Tonight (Luck Be A Lady Tonight) - 3:07
  15. 15. Forbidden Assassins (I Am Not Worthy Of Your Love) - 3:08
  16. 16. Julie Andrews hosts PBS - The American Musical: The Next Hundred Years (Do-Re-Mi / Fun, Fun, Fun) - 3:18
  17. 17. I Am My Own Cast (Wilkommen) - 2:24
  18. 18. Mamma Mi-diocre (Mamma Mia / Dancing Queen) - 2:06
  19. 19. Fiddler With No Jew (Tradition / Matchmaker / Sabbath Prayer) - 7:06
  20. 20. Harvey Fierstein as Tevye (If I Were A Rich Man) - 1:05
  21. 21. Bernadette Peters in Gypsy (Rose's Turn) - 3:17
  22. 22. Ethel Merman & Friends (There's No Business Like Show Business) - 2:12
  23. 23. Encore: "La Cage Aw ful" (La Cage Aux Folles / The Best Of Times) - 3:26

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