BWW CD Reviews: DRG Record's FORBIDDEN BROADWAY: COMES OUT SWINGING (2014 Un-Original Cast Album) Packs Some Delightful Punches
It is hard to believe that Gerard Alessandrini first wowed audiences with his witty parodies 33 years ago. In May 2014, FORBIDDEN BROADWAY: COMES OUT SWINGING opened to rave reviews at the Davenport Street Theatre. Audiences laughed until their sides ached at the latest incarnation through its sparkling closing performance on Sunday, June 20, 2014. Now, to fill the void until the next edition opens, DRG Records is proudly releasing the hysterical FORBIDDEN BROADWAY: COMES OUT SWINGING (2014 Un-Original Cast Album).
In traditional FORBIDDEN BROADWAY style, no one is safe. (Well, except A GENTLEMAN'S GUIDE TO LOVE AND MURDER, which is sadly missing from this new collection of parodies. Maybe rights to the music couldn't be procured?) And luckily for audiences and listeners alike, Gerard Alessandrini is showing no signs of slowing. In fact, his comic styling appears to only be getting sharper. Be warned, some of the barbs on FORBIDDEN BROADWAY: COMES OUT SWINGING (2014 Un-Original Cast Album) carry a little more bite than some of the other more recent showcases. The skewers aimed at the exploitation of child stars, jukebox musicals, and corporate sponsors, among others, are just sharp enough to draw a couple drops of blood.
Across all 21 tracks, there are a myriad of laughs to be had. After all, I honestly feel this is the funniest collection of FORBIDDEN BROADWAY songs yet. Standout performances on the disc include Carter Calvert's spot-on Fran Drescher impersonation on "Cinderella" and Mia Gentile's pristine impersonation of Broadway superstar Idina Menzel on "Idina - Let It Blow." The "Juke Box Medley" keeps the laughs coming, from its brilliant repurposing of "(Put Another Nickel In) Music, Music, Music" through the amusing "Oh What a Blight" segment. Moreover, "Sound of Music Live on NBC" is a true highlight on the disc.