Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Forbidden Broadway: The Roast Of Utopia

photo: Carol Rosegg

This "special summer edition" of the long running, ever-changing spoof revue is hit and miss, as it usually is, but at least the show feels fresher than usual at the moment with an especially appealing current cast and several new skits in the mix. The Company send-up is easily the best of the what's fresh - "No strings/No bass/No drums/Unaccompanied!" - and features James Donegan doing a dead-on Raul Esparza "Being Alive" parody (now called "Being Intense"). There's a decent Grey Gardens number and a Mary Poppins bit that mocks, what else, the Disneyfication of Broadway. The revised Hairspray skit picks up near its finish when John Travolta is lambasted - that's getting a welcome jump on things, as the movie isn't out until late next week. Another big plus is that the terrificly funny Les Miserables parodies are back, thanks to the currently-running revival: those spoofs are among the all-time best of Forbidden Broadway's twenty four years. The bad news is that a couple of new skits I was eagerly looking forward to are duds - the Drowsy Chaperone number just, um, sits there witlessly, and while the Spring Awakening spoof looks great, it doesn't have any bite: it seems more like an advertisement than a skewering. And I wonder....why is there still no Spelling Bee?

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