BWW Review: BroadHollow Theatre Company's FORBIDDEN BROADWAY'S GREATEST HITS

BWW Review: BroadHollow Theatre Company's FORBIDDEN BROADWAY'S GREATEST HITS

It is a breath of fresh air seeing a production that is all about laughs and silliness. No message, no plot... just a terrific comedic cast making an audience forget about life for a bit. In BroadHollow Theatre Company's boffo showing of the off-Broadway hit Forbidden Broadway's Greatest Hits, they show the staunch theatre snobs that it's OK to have a sense of humor about their beloved shows.

In the musical revue, running through March 18th at BroadHollow's BayWay Theatre, the cast hilariously performs satirical vignettes "to the tune" of Broadway's most popular songs and the way creator Gerard Alessandrini changed the lyrics is simply sidesplitting.

The show is, in essence, in the form of a concert with the cast - comprised of Long Island theatre vets Lori Beth Belkin, Paul Cirino, Eric Clavell, and Susan Emory - acknowledging the audience many times throughout. For an added touch, they even have quick changes to costumes related - or, generally related - to their performance. For example, for her performance of "Tomorrow" from Annie, Ms. Belkin has a red poufy wig with an Annie-esque dress; but because the actual lyrics are talking about her later years, she also has a cigarette in hand. An audience favorite is when Ms. Emory did a rather impressive and hysterical impression for the Carol Channing sequence. And both women were uproarious in their West Side Story/Chita/Rita performance. Another favorite was Mr. Cirino and Mr. Clavell's performances in the Rent sequence (which Ms. Emory joined in on) and their Cats sequence. Each of them had their own moment to shine as well as having fun on the group numbers.

Being a revue, the set is minimal. Three tall structures stand in back of the cast with caricatures on them representing the shows they are spoofing. And all of Joseph Kassner's costumes are perfectly coordinated to each hilarious performance to add to the entertaining ether of the show. The addition of an official announcer over the loud speaker is an excellent touch, as well.

And so, Forbidden Broadway's Greatest Hits is certainly another hit for the BroadHollow Theatre Company. I personally cannot wait to see other versions of this show (there are many!). Even though this isn't a "razzle dazzle", big Broadway show, it is definitely one to see if you're lucky enough to have one running by you. With the right cast, seeing this show will be an uplifting experience if you are feeling down and maybe, perhaps, you'll remember not to take all things too seriously.

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Forbidden Broadway's Greatest Hits is presented by the BroadHollow Theatre Company at the BayWay Theatre in East Islip, Long Island, through March 18th. For more information and to purchase tickets, please call 631-581-2700 or visit www.broadhollow.org.

Created by Gerard Alessandrini, Directed by Matt Senese, Technical Direction & Set Design by Bob Butterley, Stage Management by Anne Longobardo & Guiliana Werner, Lighting Design by Hemraj Budhram, Costume Design by Joseph Kassner, Musical Direction by Ariann Miller-Forella

Starring Lori Beth Belkin, Paul Cirino, Eric Clavell, and Susan Emory

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From This Author Melissa Giordano

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