An American icon, if ever there was one, was part of the enthusiastic audience at the OCt. 8 performance of Forbidden Broadway Strikes Back, which is currently in previews at the Triad on West 72nd Street. Bob Hope, who appeared on Broadway in Ballyhoo, Roberta, Ziegfeld Follies and Red, Hot and Blue (with Ethel Merman) was accompanied by his daughter and a friend. At 93 years old, the living legend graciously signed autographs and talked to the cast and FB author Gerard Alessandrini during intermission.
The multi-talented cast of FB includes Bryan (Sunset Boulevard, Cats, Jeffrey) Batt, Donna (George Abbott's Broadway) English, David (Cats) Hibbard and Christine (Forbidden Hollywood) Pedi with one-man-band Matthew Ward on piano.
This edition of Forbidden Broadway pokes fun at such Broadway luminaries as Cameron Mackintosh, Nathan Lane and Andrew Lloyd Webber; current hits like Rent and Sunset Boulevard; and favorite divas like Bernadette Peters, Patti LuPone, Julie Andrews, Zoe Caldwell, Donna Murphy and Elaine Paige. As always, Alessandrini's wit, mixed with a touch of venom, is a hilarious stroll down The Great White Way.
The Triad is located at 158 West 72nd Street, NYC. For tickets call 212-799-4599.
-- By Andrew Gans