Forbidden Broadway – Review 15/09/2014

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©Alastair Muir

©Alastair Muir

The stagiest show in town has arrived in style – and it’s not here to make friends with its West End neighbours. With gags and satire aplenty, Forbidden Broadway is a playful and hysterical send up of London and Broadway’s hit shows and leading actors.

Whether you are crazy for Cats, loopy for Les Mis or bonkers for Billy, Forbidden Broadway has got a punchline for everything, with dozens more in between. There was a nod to the young stars of the West End in Exploited Children – to the tune of Matilda‘s Revolting Children – with Matilda, Billy Elliot and Gavroche featured.

© Alastair Muir

© Alastair Muir

The show was kept current with features on the revivals of Miss Saigon, Cats and Evita, but old favourites that fans of the show might recognise were not forgotten, with Christina Bianco bringing her Bernadette Peters to life with See Me On A Monday and sending up Kristin Chenoweth with Glitter and Be Glib.

To spoof not just a show, but nearly the entire West End, requires not only guts but a whole lot of talent, and fortunately this production has found it in the form of Anna-Jane Casey, Ben Lewis, Christina Bianco and Damian Humbley.

Humbley has the kind of star quality that you know will never disappoint in any of his roles and this one is no different. Whether it’s his Valjean struggling with the notes in Bring It Down – to the tune of Bring Him Home, of course – or his cameo in the Once sketch, he captures the part perfectly and has the audience roaring with laughter.

The whole cast shone and Lewis’ rendition of No Imagination – a spoof on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory‘s Pure Imagination – was a highlight. Casey’s take on Liza Minnelli proved that Broadway divas could be just as popular in London as send ups of Wicked and Frozen‘s Let It Go (or Let It Blow, as sung by Bianco).

One thing needs to be clear, this is a show for theatre fans. That is not to say that you need to have seen every show featured to enjoy the evening, but a West End novice would inevitably end up confused. For those who have knowledge of the West End and Broadway, however, Forbidden Broadway is a refreshing take on theatre favourites old and new.

 

You can read our interview with Forbidden Broadway star Christina Bianco here.

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One response »

  1. Pingback: Christina Bianco: “I don’t feel like I hide behind impressions” | Stagey Secrets

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