Community Theatre brings out its stars for Savoyards Forbidden Broadway.
Forbidden Broadway is a satirical revue of musical theatre shows, songs, performers, composers, and even choreographers, which started in the early 1980s, and has been updated through the years to include more contemporary works.
Community music theatre company, Savoyards, under the direction of Angela Clarke, treated the audience to spoofs from well-known musicals including Chicago, Annie, Spamalot, Cats, Phantom, Wicked and Rent, as well as many ‘moments’ from Les Miserables. Graham Colenutt’s wonderful rendition of the impossibly high tenor song ‘Bring Him Home’ was a real treat with aptly adapted lyrics:
“God, its high . . . this song’s too high . . . pity me, change the key.”
Some of the cast even impersonated the actors who famously starred on Broadway, such as Jason Faff’s brilliant, raspy rendition of ‘Hello Dolly’ in true Carol Channing style.
Andrew Scheiwe, well known around the Brisbane music theatre traps, parodied Mandy Patinkin and Topol with finesse. The octave jump in ‘Over the Rainbow’ became ‘Somewhat Overindulgent’, and acting stops were pulled out with a rendition of ‘Tradition’ from Fiddler on the Roof.
Julie Eisentrager, who lamented in ‘I Dreamed a Dream’, of being an actor having to perform in depressing musicals and dying in the first act was quite enjoyable to watch (and listen to), and Kat Ryan’s ‘Defying Gravity’ which turned into ‘Defying Subtly’ was brilliantly sung. (The flying trick was also quite clever!)
Ensemble numbers kept the show well diversified, the highlight being ‘You Can’t Stop the Hype’… ahem… ‘Beat’, from Hairspray with Kat Ryan as Tracey Turnblad, Andrew Scheiwe as Harvey Fierstein, Jason Fagg (impersonating John Travolta) as Tracey’s mum, and Sarah Copley as Laura Bundy.
Roger Martin, under the direction of Joanne Wolfe, on the piano kept the show moving, and even interacted with some of the performers during the show, which was a nice touch.
While the show is hilarious to music theatre buffs, some of the songs like the number ‘Glossy Fossie’ would be lost on the general public. However, there is still enough common music theatre pop culture thrown in for all to enjoy.
Forbidden Broadway played at The Star Theatre in Manly from 15 – 23 February.