Spoiler alert: My favourite Forbidden Broadway spoofs

In Broadway, Features, London theatre, Musicals, Opinion, Reviews by Terri PaddockLeave a Comment

Forbidden Broadway was just what the doctor ordered for me the other night – I haven’t laughed so hard in ages. The renowned Broadway institution (going since 1982) has been slightly Anglicised and specially tailored for the West End in 2014 – Cameron Mackintosh, Elaine Paige, Robert Lindsay and revivals of Evita and Cats be warned (you’re now caught in the transatlantic cross-hairs along with Idina Menzel, Kristen Chenoweth, Hugh Jackman, Mandy Patinkin, Chita Rivera and Rita Moreno – no bad company) – with terrifically funny, tongue-in-cheek results. And, while everyone but the God that is Stephen Sondheim gets mercilessly lampooned, I do believe it’s done with affection and bucketloads of goodwill. (The West End opening night at the Vaudeville was filled the rafters with many of the show targets and they didn’t seem to mind.) The end result is to make me want to go back and visit anew many of these musical friends, and on a serious note, save them and all of our theatre-loving souls from the greedy corporate clutches that the company warns against with its rendition of Cabaret‘s Nazi theme, “The Future Belongs to Me”. Take action. In the West End, original Menier Chocolate Factory cast members Anna-Jane Casey, Ben Lewis and Damian Humbley are joined by YouTube sensation Christina Bianco (all excellent). Forbidden Broadway is created and written by Gerard Alessandrini, directed and choreographed by Phillip George. With the permission of the producers, I share below some of my favourite Forbidden musical moments…. Forbidden Broadway // <![CDATA[ !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs"); // ]]> The Lion King AFRICAN BALONEY BUT WE WON A LOT OF TONY HIGH FALUTIN PUPPET SHOW PUNCH AND JUDY HEAD TO TOE PINNOCHIO A STORY SO BIZARRI IT’S HAMLET GO SAFARI I GOT A LOT OF MAKEUP ON JOHNNY JOHNNY ELTON JOHN… CAN YOU FEEL THE PAIN TONIGHT? THE STRAIN THIS HEADDRESS BRINGS? THE CRACKING BONES THE TEARING CARTILAGE KILLS ALL LIVING THINGS. Matilda the Musical Good morning children. I am your director Matthew Warchus Trunchbull. And I am here to break you into the mercilessly cruel world of British children’s musicals. Now, audiences think that you are funny, cute little triple threats. You are not triple threats, you are vermin! Vermin with Oliviers. WE ARE EXPLOITED CHILDREN LIVING IN EXPLOITING TIMES WE SING EXHAUSTING SONGS WHOOOOAAAAAHHH…. WE USE EXPLICIT RHYMES WE ARE EXPLOITED CHILDREN HARD WORK IS NEVER FUN THOUGH THE GROWN-UPS SAY THEY’RE DOTING THEY’RE EXPLOITING   Les Miserables TEN YEARS MORE ANOTHER DECADE IS OUR DESTINY THIS NEVER ENDING RUN OF INFAMY THE PUBLIC DOESNT MIND THE FACT THIS CRUSTY SHOW HAS BEEN SHELLACKED TEN YEARS MORE TEN YEARS MORE IS UNDERSTATING ALL THE YEARS WE HAVE AHEAD CHANCES ARE WE’LL STILL BE RUNNING WHEN MOST PEOPLE HERE ARE DEAD   Miss Saigon THE BEAT IS ON IN SAIGON THE SONGS ARE LOUDER THAN HELL FOUR LETTER LYRICS ABOUT MISS SAIGON GOD THE VOLUME IS HIGH AND THE SONGS REALLY SMELL… GREETING CARDS ARE TOO WITTY BUT WE CAN USE HELLO KITTY FOR LYRICS SO DUMB YOU’LL LOSE YOUR MIND WHEN YOU FIND WE’VE BECOME VIETNUMB     The Phantom of the Opera I’M THE PHANTOM BROADWAY’S SMOOTHEST CROONER HEAR ME GURGLE THROUGH THIS HORROR TUNER WHEN THE SONG’S A BITCH AND I’M SLIGHTLY UNDER PITCH THEY JUST FLICK THE REVERB SWITCH FROM LEFT TO RIGHT AND COVER UP MY MUCUS OF THE NIGHT   Wicked AND SUDDENLY I AM DEFYING SUBTLETY WITH DEATH DEFYING LACK OF SUBTLETY I’LL CAPTURE WORLD RENOWN I’LL BLOW THIS THEATRE UP BECAUSE I AM THE LOUDEST WITCH IN OZ AND NO ONE’S GONNA TURN MY VOLUME DOWN……….!           Jersey Boys That’s right. By simply narrating over eighty percent of this show, we can tell three times as much of this ordinary showbiz story and throw in more unrelated pop songs than Mamma Mia – watch! WALK LIKE A MAN SING LIKE A GIRL YOU’LL SOAR TO NUMBER ONE FALSETTO PITCH IS SUCH A BITCH HELIUM HELPS MY SON   The Book of Mormon WE ENJOY WRITING CHILDISH MUSIC WITH LYRICS THAT APPALL TO MURDER GOOD TASTE IS OUR MISSION INSULT ALL AND STAND TALL WE BELIEVE IN MAGNIFICENT FAME AND FORTUNE WE BELIEVE THAT BROADWAY SHOULD BE VULGAR CRASS AND LEWD AND WE BELIEVE YOU DON’T HAVE TO SCAN THE WORDS TO FIT IN CORRECTLY OR SET THEM PROPERLY TO THE MUSIC     Anna-Jane Casey, Damian Humbley, Ben Lewis and Christina Bianco in Forbidden Broadway in the West End Homage to Sondheim INTO THE WORDS THAT TRIP YOUR LIP AND FRY YOUR BRAIN AND SPRAIN YOUR TONGUE INTO THE WORDS SO COMPLICATED GROWN UPS FIND IT SCARY INTO THE WORDS THAT FLY AND TRY TO MAKE YOU CHOKE THE JOKE YOU’VE SUNG INTO THE WORDS MORE LETTERS THAN THE OXFORD DICTIONARY   Forbidden Broadway is booking until 22 November 2014 at the West End’s Vaudeville Theatre.  

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Terri Paddock
Terri Paddock runs the Terri Paddock Group, which provides content and social media marketing services for theatre clients across channels including MyTheatreMates.com, StageFaves.com, Stage Talk and TerriPaddock.com. Previously,
Terri Paddock founded WhatsOnStage.com and the WhatsOnStage Awards, running the company and its events from 1996 to 2013. Terri is also the author of two novels, Come Clean and Beware the Dwarfs, and has previously written for the Evening Standard, Independent, The Times and other national publications. She is renowned for her 'legendary' post-show Q&As and also produces the annual Critics' Circle Theatre Awards and acts as a digital, content strategy and event consultant for theatre, producers and other clients. She tweets about theatre at @TerriPaddock.

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