Forbidden fruits of Broadway

LOVERS of musical theatre are sure to appreciate Gerard Alessandrini's Forbidden Broadway - the satirical revue that celebrates and still pokes fun at a number of stellar stage productions.

The audience rollercoaster rides from one musical to the next. One minute they're in Chicago before swiftly being taken to the set of Wicked or perhaps Les Miserables, Mamma Mia or Cats.

Famous musical songs are parodied and audiences can expect numbers like Defying Subtlety (a take of 'Defying Gravity' from Wicked), End of the Play ('End of the Day' from Les Miserables) and Rant (a reimagining of Rent's eponymous title song).

Director Anne Somes of Free Rain Theatre Company said the while there are many similar revue-type shows around, it's the humour and fast-pace that sets Forbidden Broadway apart from the pack.

"The show's longevity - it first debut in 1982 - is a testament to how well written it is. It's out-there and it's engaging. It's been embraced on stage just as much as the shows [within the production] themselves," she said.

"You just get a snapshot of so many different theatre pieces within this one show. Many of the pieces such as Wicked or Mamma Mia haven't been released for a market of this size. It's another chance for audiences to see a little snapshot they might not get to otherwise."

With so many musicals of varying styles jam-packed into one show, it is demanding on the cast and crew.

However, Somes said rather than being an obstacle, it's a challenge worthy of being embraced.

She said their production team have been busy tailoring individual costumes and sets that are true to each of the musicals.

"The material is just really clever and witty. It gives you a challenge to do something you've never done before," she said.

"The show just whips along at a huge pace; it's what gives it that 'wow-factor'. You go into so many different styles of musical theatre and it's just fabulous. It's awesome for the cast and the audience."

Free Rain Theatre Company presents Forbidden Broadway at The Queanbeyan Performing Arts Centre from Friday, March 7 to Saturday, March 22. To purchase tickets visit www.theq.net.au.

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