‘Forbidden Broadway: Dances with the Stars’ premieres
By Caroline Shannon-Karasik
Erase every single notion and understanding you have about the popular television show, “Dancing with the Stars.” The Pasodoble, Fox Trot, sequined costumes and scathing judges.
Come on – do it. [Pause.] Alright, are you set?
Then, here we go: The Victoria Theatre Association will present “Forbidden Broadway: Dances with the Stars” on Saturday, Feb. 19 at 7:30 p.m.
No, this show is not about Pamela Anderson’s fancy footwork on the ballroom floor à la “Dancing with the Stars.” Instead, “Forbidden Broadway,” is a smash-hit series that leans on satire and comedy to poke fun at famous Broadway shows. The “Dances with the Stars” edition has a little fun with the puppets of “Avenue Q,” the witches of “Wicked,” Billy Joel’s “Movin Out,” “La Cage aux Folles,” “Little Shop of Horrors,” “Les Miserables,” “Beauty and the Beast” and “Chicago.”
“[Audiences can look forward to] a laugh-out-loud spoof on Broadway’s biggest hits,” said Tina McPhearson, Vice President of programming at the Victoria Theatre Association.
“Forbidden Broadway” was originally created by an unemployed actor, Gerard Alessandrini. When Alessandrini was looking for a place to show off his artistic abilities, he decided to put together some of the musical parodies he had written since childhood and turn them into a nightclub act. The show debuted at Palsson’s Supper Club on New York’s Upper West Side in January 1982. The show was an instant hit. Since then, it has had several different editions, including “Forbidden Broadway: Special Victims Unit,” “Forbidden Broadway: Rude Awakening” and “Forbidden Broadway Goes to Rehab.” Celebrating its record-breaking 25th year in New York, the show is the city’s longest-running musical comedy revue.
“This show has never played in Dayton before and we are very excited that we were able to book it this year,” McPhearson said.
Rounding out the laugh-out-loud “Dances with the Stars” are spoofs of Mel Brooks’ “The Producers,” Abba’s “Mamma Mia” and “Thoroughly Modern Millie,” in addition to several more of Broadway past and present.
“Forbidden Broadway” is the recipient of an Obie award, the Outer Critics Circle Award and the 2005 Drama Desk Award for Best Off Broadway Musical. In 2006, Forbidden Broadway took home a Tony Honors for Excellence in Theatre. Alumni include Jason Alexander, Brad Oscar, actor Bryan Batt (of AMC’s “Mad Men”), Spamalot’s Michael McGrath, Ed Staudenmayer (Fame Becomes Me), Barbara Walsh (Company, Ragtime) and many more.
A few favorite songs include “Don’t Cry for Me Barbra Streisand” (Don’t Cry for Me Argentina), “Thoroughly Perky Millie” (Thoroughly Modern Millie), “Oh What a Beautiful Moron” (Oh What a Beautiful Mornin’), “Teeny Todd” (Ballad of Sweeney Todd), and “There’s Nobody In Show Business” (There’s No Business Like Show Business).
“If you know anything about Broadway, this cast goes out of its way to make fun of every show you have ever heard of,” McPhearson said. “And if you are not familiar with Broadway shows, not to worry! Each takeoff on the shows is funny in its own right and you can be sure you will have a laugh-filled evening.”
Tickets start at $28. Call Ticket Center Stage at (937) 228-3630, (888) 228-3630, or purchase online at www.ticketcenterstage.com. You can also visit the box office in the Wintergarden of the Benjamin and Marian Schuster Performing Arts Center.
Reach DCP freelance writer Caroline Shannon-Karasik at CarolineShannon-Karasik@daytoncitypaper.com.