Forbidden Broadway, Still Poking Theatre in the Eye, Opens 2001 Edition Dec. 6

News   Forbidden Broadway, Still Poking Theatre in the Eye, Opens 2001 Edition Dec. 6 Forbidden Broadway 2001: A Spoof Odyssey, the wicked revue-sendup of this season's batch of Broadway plays, musicals and trends, opens in New York City Dec. 6 after three months of development in previews, at the Stardust Theatre.

Forbidden Broadway 2001: A Spoof Odyssey, the wicked revue-sendup of this season's batch of Broadway plays, musicals and trends, opens in New York City Dec. 6 after three months of development in previews, at the Stardust Theatre.

The 18-year theatrical tradition this season skewers Aida, Seussical, Contact, Riverdance, The Full Monty, Kiss Me, Kate, The Music Man, Sarah Brightman and more. Official opening for the show was delayed in previews because targets of certain sequences had made headlines — Liza Minnelli took ill and Gwen Verdon died. Some rewriting and refiguring was necessary. Previews began Sept. 7. A late October opening was expected.

The 2000-2001 cast, directed by Forbidden Broadway creator-founder Gerard Alessandrini (and choreographed and co-directed by Phill George), includes Felicia Finley, Danny Gurwin, Tony Nation and FB veteran and favorite Christine Pedi. Catherine Stornetta is on piano.

Designers are Bradley Kaye (set) and Alvin Colt (costumes). DRG has recorded a cast album of this new version; a February 2001 release date is expected.

Among musical numbers of this edition are “Stritch,” in which Pedi, shifting from haunch to haunch, imitates the inimitable Elaine Stritch, here depicted as resigned to forever playing boozy broads. For her part, Finley takes on Marin Mazzie taking on the critics who’ve dissed her. Another segment mocks Contact’s use of recorded music, while a number held over from the previous FB, parodies “The Circle of Life” to poke fun at neck and back injuries caused by The Lion King’s masks and costumes. New numbers also show Craig Bierko (The Music Man) and James Carpinello (Saturday Night Fever) taking their lumps, though Les Miserables seems positively rejuvenated by being crossed with Rocky Horror. *

Though Off-Broadway's Forbidden Broadway revue changes its parody songs constantly to stay current with theatre trends, every now and then creator-director Gerard Alessandrini gives the show a full once over, just to acknowledge how much new material has been added.

The 187-seat Stardust Theatre is downstairs in Ellen's Stardust Diner, next door to the Winter Garden Theatre at Broadway and 51st Street.

FB has played at several locations on Manhattan's upper East Side and upper West Side since its humble beginnings 18 years ago, in 1982.

The show has been seen around the country and around the world: London, Singapore, Japan, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Detroit, Melbourne and many other places. Past cast members include Jason Alexander, Chloe Webb, Dee Hoty and Bryan Batt.

Tickets are $49.50 and information on Forbidden Broadway call (212) 239-6200.

— By Kenneth Jones
and David Lefkowitz