Sunday, February 19, 2006

Forbidden Broadway

From: "will stackman"

Subject: Quicktake - "Forbidden Broadway: Special Victims Unit" by Gerard Alessandrini

Date: Fri, Feb 17, 11:42 PM


     He's Back. The latest version of Needham native Gerard Alessandrini's satirical view of Broadway, the 2005 edition, is running for a month in larger new theatre at the BCA. A decade ago, an earlier edition of this parodic formula played for six and one/half years in Boston at the Terrace Room. The concept transfers well enough to a conventional proscenium stage, the kind of stage where most of its targets appear.

     The talented ensemble, Janet Dickinson, Valerie Fagan, Kevin McGlynn, and Nick Verina, with music director Catherine Stornetta at the piano takes on Broadway past and present. This includes "Wicked" due here shortly and the interminable "Les Mis..." on its way out, though next season's edition will probably find a way to attack the fact that MacIntosh is reopening his cash cow on Broadway. Most of the humor is broad and basic, but the pace is breakneck as usual. It helps to have seen the shows and the Annual Tony Awards on television, to know vaguely what was hot in 2005 (and what flopped), but the absurdity of the current production milieu on Broadway, which Alessandrini considers "a crime" is obvious. Media stars like Christina Applegate take their knocks, "Avenue Q" and Julie Taymor's "Lion King" take their lumps, and will no doubt get a few more in years to come.

    While the level of satire hardly approached Culture Clash's visit last spring under HTC auspices. this spoof will probably due better, helping to keep the lights bright down on its end of Tremont. The performers have voices and charm to match any who've toured into town in "legitimate" vehicles, and would be welcome as leads for NSMT or Reagle, or in fact, on HTC's mainstage. Alessandrini's contribution to the American Musical Theatre may not be soley as is fondest critic, but for keeping the revue format alive and kicking.

"Forbidden Broadway: Special Victims Unit" by Gerard Alessandrini, Feb.14-Mar.12

Wimberley Theatre in Calderwood Pavilion

BCA, 527 Tremont, (617) 933 - 8600
presented by H.T.C.


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