Some things never change. Three years of self-imposed exile from sending up Broadway’s winners and losers has not dulled Gerard Alessandrini’s wit a whit. “Forbidden Broadway, Alive and Kicking,” off-Broadway at the 47th Street Theatre, continues Alessandrini’s long-standing tradition of finding the Achilles’ heels of even the best shows, shamelessly exaggerating them and milking them for every possible laugh.
Among the better spoofs in his latest foray is an assault on the current revival of “Evita,” in which Marcus Stevens, as Ricky Martin, celebrates “livin’ Evita loca,” as the world’s “cheeriest Che Guevera” to pay his sons’ kindergarten tuition. Tony Award winner “Once,” “so unpretentious” it’s pretentious, is also cleverly skewered. “Spider-Man” composer Bono (Scott Richard Foster), and its original director, Julie Taymor (Natalie Charle Ellis), entertain while singing about their collaborative demise with a knockoff version of “Sue Me” from “Guys and Dolls.”
“Forbidden Broadway, Alive and Kicking” is least successful when it strays from recently opened Broadway fodder. Its spoof on the television show “Smash,” for example, lacks bite and laughs. Similarly, it’s only marginally alive and kicking when it takes on more established musicals like “Wicked” and “Jersey Boys.”
The talented cast holds nothing back in its mockery of the denizens of the Great White Way, inducing peals of laughter in the process. You don’t have to be a theater maniac to enjoy “Forbidden Broadway,” but a certain amount of theater savvy is certainly a plus to fully appreciate Alessandrini’s spirited satire.
If you go
‘Forbidden Broadway, Alive and Kicking’
47th Street Theatre
304 W. 47th St.