LIMA — A new spotlight shines on some of the most beloved musicals along the Great White Way when “Forbidden Broadway” opens today at Encore Theatre.
“This is just a totally enjoyable show. It’s very family friendly, and just a lot of fun,” said director Harold Poppe.
The show spoofs some of Broadway’s biggest hits, from "A Chorus Line" to "Wicked."
“For example, it takes a song from 'Les Miserables' and rewrites the words to what the actor is probably thinking. So, the song 'On My Own,' becomes 'On My Phone' as the actor is waiting to die in the show so she can go off-stage and make a phone call,” Poppe explained.
It highlights, perhaps, what some of the long-time actors in a show might be thinking. “Music of the Night” becomes “Mucous of the Night.” "Rent" becomes "Rant."
“The humor is wonderful in this show,” Poppe said.
And, Broadway stars are not immune from the grilling.
“Carol Channing did 'Hello Dolly' for years, and the younger men in this show are begging her not to do it over and over again. There is Ethel Merman having a fit because stars now need microphones. And Liza Minnelli goes on a rant about her parents. Even if you’re not a Broadway buff, the humor is strong enough to keep everyone happy,” Poppe said.
And so is the music, thanks to a cast that musical director Shawn Stevens has honed into a small Broadway ensemble.
“We have 14-year-olds in the show, and we have veteran actors. The experience level among the cast is nothing, to a lot. Every one of them has thrown themselves into this music, and it’s wonderful,” said Dale Schmidt, producer of the show.
“Forbidden Broadway” first hit the stage in 1982, and was an instant sucess both nationally and internationally. Over the last 30 years, the show has changed as often as the Broadway offerings it lampoons, and has won numerous awards along the way.