'Forbidden' returns ready to mock
After a three-year hiatus, a new 30th anniversary edition of "Forbidden Broadway," the much beloved, Off-Broadway parody of classic and current Broadway musicals, will officially open next week.
We asked Gerard Alessandrini - the show's creator, author and director - about how he went about parodying the newest musicals on Broadway.
'Porgy and Bess'
"We have [director] Diane Paulus come out and explain how she turned the show into a theater piece and cut up and reorchestrated the score. While I applaud the idea of changing it for Broadway, they really went overboard. And we show how Audra McDonald's performance is so broad compared with the rest of the company. She's in a different show."
"The entire show has been squeezed into five minutes. We focus on the romance of the two leads and use some of the show's actual dialogue, plus the whole bit about the Hoover vacuum sucking."
"We satirize the hyperkinetic energy and have every single line ending in an exclamation point. We also put [librettist] Harvey Fierstein into the show with Jeremy Jordan.
"We focus on Ricky Martin, changing his song 'La Vida Loca' to 'Living Evita Loca,' and on Elena Roger being perhaps less than a Broadway caliber star."
'The Book of Mormon'
"I have Matt Stone and Trey Parker singing "I Believe," but about themselves. And at the end, Jesus comes out."
"We have a couple of stuffed dummies flying around, but we focus on Julie Taymor and Bono fighting over what to do with the show. He fires her, so she sues him, and they attack each other."
"Stephen Sondheim, as the narrator, introduces this as one last revival of 'Follies' and Bernadette Peters sings about how she always sounds good in Sondheim's ears. Then we take on 'Into the Woods,' with Donna Murphy dressed as a tree."