Forbidden Broadway is a fun look at famous shows and superstars

What’s sure to be one of the highlights of this PrideFEST kicks off this week, Forbidden Broadway is a show that encapsulates all your favourite musicals, while casting a satirical look over the world of Broadway and it’s shining stars.

In this long-running Off-Broadway hit musical revue, Broadway’s greatest musical legends meet Broadway’s greatest satirist in this hilarious, entertaining and loving tribute to some of theatre’s greatest stars and songwriters.

Taking a comedic poke at its stimulus, this light-hearted show is an irreverent spoof of the show tunes, characters and plots of many contemporary and well-loved musicals.

Forbidden Broadway captures the parody of performers like Carol Channing, Michael Crawford, Barbara Streisand and Liza Minnelli, and pays homage to 20 of Broadway’s most popular musicals, including Cats, Annie, Les Miserables, Chicago, Phantom, Spamalot, Rent and the much loved Wicked.

Forbidden Broadway

The production features some of Perth’s most talent performers lead by Director and Producer Andrew Dobosz. Taking on multiple roles and the gamut of musical styles and personalities is Elethea Sartorelli, Peter Cumins, Rachael Monamy, and Callan Kneale. They’re joined by pianist Sammy McSweeney.

OUTinPerth caught up with Andrew Dobosz to find out more about the show.

Forbidden Broadway

Forbidden Broadway began it’s long run off-Broadway in New York in 1982 and has been continually reinvented, adding new content as new seasons arrived on the Great White Way. Dolbosz explained that the version they are staging takes in some well known material and familiar faces.

“Where do we start? We look at Stephen Sondheim, Carol Channing, Liza Minelli, Michael Crawford, Tim Curry, Idina Menzel and Barbara Streisand.” Dolboz shared, agreeing that even if you’re not aficionado of  Broadway musicals you can’t help but know all the biggest stars.

“Funnily enough that was my introduction to musical theatre as well, I was signing show tunes in choirs, whether they be primary school or community choirs.” Dolbosz said, “I was signing show tunes my whole life I just didn’t know they were show tunes, but I enjoyed them and they made me who I am, when I finally took that step into theatre the transition was very easy, I knew the characters and how the stories progressed because I’d been singing them my whole life.”

The test of really good musical song is whether it can stand alone from the story its embedded in. Dolbosz recalled that listening to a recent album from Josh Groban he came across the song What I Did For Love which is from A Chorus Line. 

“That’s such a beautiful song, in both its context and it’s arrangement from start to finish, you forget how lovely songs they are both in the context of a show and as stand alone songs. That’s what Forbidden Broadway is about we take a look at these songs and bring in the satire, but they are songs that stand up on their own.”

Dolbosz recalls the first time he went to New York and visited Broadway describing it as a manic time.

“I didn’t know what to expect, I didn’t know where I was, and I saw a very safe show, I saw The Lion King, I was young in my early twenties, and was very overwhelmed by the lights and all the people.” he recalls.

Returning a few years later he made the most of the experience, “We let our hair down and saw as many shows as possible, all we could afford to see.”

One Broadway icon the show embraces is Chita Rivera, who OUTinPerth spoke to back in 2011.

“The Chita Rivera number is really about she pioneered so many roles and was so groundbreaking” Dolbosz said. “How she made her role in West Side Story so famous, how she was so groundbreaking, and she brought to the role.  Then we have another fun about another actress who played the role.”

“Each performer in the show plays around twelve characters throughout the show, it’s manic backstage with the costume changes.”

Dolbosz said he wanted to put on this show because after he first saw in Melbourne a few years ago he was captivated and laughing all the way through.

“We’re not making a mockery of these famous songs and their performers, this is about satire and humour about what they did and how they became famous. They are all pioneering performers.”

Grab your tickets to see Forbidden Broadway

Graeme Watson

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