Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Forbidden Broadway - review


EVER seen Phantom Of The Opera? Miss Saigon? Les Misérables? Matilda?
Well a fabulous show which pokes fun at these and other musicals will make you see them in a new light.
Forbidden Broadway, on at the Menier Chocolate Factory, is a guaranteed giggle-fest and features send ups of all those famous shows including old timers such as Les Mis, Phantom and Miss Saigon as well as relative newcomers to the West End stage, Pajama Game, Spamalot and Jersey Boys.
In fact any and every show is fair game and even some of the actors are not immune from being mocked - for example Idina Menzel in Wicked and Alex Jennings as Willy Wonka in Charlie And The Chocolate Factory.
Created in 1982 by Gerard Alessandrini that lampooned the Broadway shows and stars of the day, this current and updated version focuses very much on the West End.
It features just four performers, Anna-Jane Casey, Sophie-Louise Dann, Damian Humbley and Ben Lewis who sing and dance their way through a series of numbers from a variety of productions with some very swift costume changes along the way and an extremely generous and infectious dose of pizzazz.
The songs are attacked with gusto and feature some classic re-writing of the original lyrics as well as some suitably hilarious and hammy acting and a few clever props including a toy aeroplane which zooms along a zip wire during Miss Saigon.
And even if you have not seen some of the shows chosen for mockery you will undoubtedly recognise them from the revamp of the songs.
It is all great fun and at times my ribs were aching from laughing so much.
In fact there are so many highlights it would be impossible to list them all but my personal favourite was their rendition of Les Misérables - one of the funniest things I've seen on stage in a long time.

Forbidden Broadway is on at the Menier Chocolate Factory in Southwark Street until August 30. Tickets from £25. Visit www.menierchocolatefactory.com or call the box office on 020 7378 1713.

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