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BWW Review: FORBIDDEN BROADWAY opens the new District Theatre

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BWW Review: FORBIDDEN BROADWAY opens the new District Theatre When the Theatre on the Square closed the Indy theatre community couldn't help but worry and speculate about what would happen next. It breathed a collective sigh of relief when the building was saved. Now named The District Theatre, the Mass Ave space opens its doors with the musical Forbidden Broadway.

The show is a wink and an elbow to the ribs to all theatre lovers and provides a chance to laugh at campy renditions of well-known songs. No beloved musical is safe from skewering. From Les Misérables to Lion King, everything is fair game. The show is a production from The Actors Theatre of Indiana and stars all three co-founders (Don Farrell, Cynthia Collins and Judy Fitzgerald), plus a fourth performer, Logan Moore. The company usually performs in Carmel and so their southern migration is a treat for those who prefer Mass Ave to braving the world of roundabouts.

Throughout the show, Brent Marty provides piano accompaniment as the actors ham it up. His musical stylings keep things spinning along. Each actors has at least a few standout moments. Though the lyrics are rife with jokes, their voices are still incredible, demonstrating their skill even as they parody the numbers. Farrell as Carol Channing is priceless. Collins and Fitzgerald battle it out as Wicked divas and Moore manages to do everything from Phantom of the Opera to Fosse.

The sheer pace of Billy Kimmel's direction is impressive. The fast-paced musical flips back and forth at a breakneck pace, presenting a 40-year-old Annie and then flying into a "ambitious" version of Fiddler on the Roof. Julie Andrews is lampooned and then quickly dons spandex for a Mamma Mia bit. If any of the numbers don't strike your fancy or you miss a reference, just wait two minutes and they will move on to the next number. The four actors must be exhausted at the end of each performance. The costumes are a tour de force. With dozens of changes throughout the show, costume designer Terry Woods certainly rose to the challenge.

Least you think this show is going to insult your favorites, let me reassure you. Forbidden Broadway is, above all, a show for those who love musicals. It lets you laugh at the silly aspects of musicals through the years without ever being cruel. In the end, we all love Broadway and that's never more clear than when we are poking fun at it.

Don't Miss the Show

Performances: The show runs until July 29 at the newly-named District Theatre's stage at 627 Massachusetts Avenue, Indianapolis.

Tickets: For tickets and information visit www.indydistricttheatre.org or call (317) 308-9800. **Tomorrow (July 11) only: you can buy a ticket for just $20! The sale will only last for 24 hours.

Photos Courtesy of Actors Theatre of Indiana


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