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Wednesday, 14 November 2012 21:06

FORBIDDEN BROADWAY Wins L.A. Ovation Award for Best Musical


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Gerard Alessandrini’s Forbidden Broadway took home the Award for Best Production of a Musical, at theL.A. Stage Alliance Ovation Awards Monday night, as well as Lead Actress in a Musical, which was awarded to Susanne Blakeslee.  The show, which was directed by New York Forbidden Broadway cast member William Selby, and produced by Musical Theatre West, California’s Premier Musical Theatre Company was titled Forbidden Broadway: Greatest Hits, Volume 2, and ran earlier this year. The Ovation Awards honor the best in Los Angeles theater.

Forbidden Broadway beat out both Tony® Award winner Avenue Q and Miss Saigon for Best Production of a Musical. It was recognized amongst Tony® Award Winning plays War Horse and Waiting For Godot.

The new edition, Forbidden Broadway: Alive and Kicking opened to rave reviews in New York at the 47th Street Theatre (304 West 47th Street) on September 6, 2012. The show has recently extended its run through April 28th. Gerard Alessandrini’s Forbidden Broadway: Alive and Kicking features parodies of Broadway’s biggest shows and brightest stars, including Annie, Newsies, Once, Book of Mormon, Spiderman, Evita, Porgy and Bess, Anything Goes, Follies, as well as send-ups of Catherine Zeta Jones, Matthew Broderick, Patti LuPone and Mandy Patinkin, among others. Featured in the cast, with David Caldwell on piano, are Natalie Charlé Ellis, Scott Richard Foster, Jenny Lee Stern and Marcus Stevens.

What started as a small cabaret act at West 72nd Street’s Palsson’s Supper Club, is now one of New York City’s best-loved and most highly anticipated musicals. Now celebrating its 30th year, Forbidden Broadway is a Broadway institution joining the ranks of A Chorus Line and Phantom of the Opera as one of the longest-running shows in New York. 

Forbidden Broadway was born in 1982, when Alessandrini, a frustrated performer looking for a place to showcase himself and his friends, booked a weekend performance at Palsson’s. The cast of five, had no producer or backer, and used costumes from the casts’ own closets to spoof stars like Yul Brynner and Ethel Merman.  Hailed by critics, Forbidden Broadway became an overnight sensation, quickly expanding to eight performances a week and running at Palsson’s for over six years. Needing a bigger venue, Forbidden Broadway moved to the 125-seat Theatre East, where it ran until 1994. Since then, Forbidden Broadway was presented at the Triad until 1997, the Stardust Theatre from 1997-2001, the Douglas Fairbanks Theatre from 2001-2005, the 47th Street Theatre, where it opened in 2005. The show now returns to the 47th Street Theatre after a three-year absence.  Forbidden Broadway has also enjoyed both national and international success, performing over 10,000 shows on four continents with sit-down engagements in over 20 U.S. cities, as well as London’s famed Menier Chocolate Factory, and concerts with major symphony orchestras. A recent production in Manila, Philippines guest-starred Lea Salonga.

Over the last 30 years, the show, which changes as often as Broadway, has been a favorite among theater lovers as well as the Broadway stars themselves (Carol Channing, Angela Lansbury, Patti Lupone, Carol Burnett, Stephen Sondheim, Raul Esparza, Tyne Daly, Mike Nichols, Christine Ebersole, Bernadette Peters, Whoopi Goldberg, Cameron Mackintosh, and Hal Prince, to name a few) who often stop by to laugh at themselves alongside the public. The show has also been known to launch several talented, but previously unknown actors’ careers, including Jason Alexander, Chloe Webb, Barbara Walsh, Brian Batt, Dee Hoty and Daniel Reichard, while many Forbidden Broadway alumni have appeared or are currently appearing on Broadway. Forbidden Broadway has won numerous awards in its history including a Special Tony® Award as well as Drama Critics’ Circle, Obie, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, Drama League, and Lucille Lortel Awards.  A theatrical institution, Forbidden Broadwayhas received national and international notoriety having performed in over 200 US cities as well as engagements in Tokyo, Singapore, Sydney and London’s Meniere Chocolate Factory.

This edition is created and written by Gerard Alessandrini, and directed by Mr. Alessandrini and Phillip George, with musical direction by David Caldwell, and additional dialogue by Phillip George.  Costumes are designed by Philip Heckman, with lighting design by Mark T. Simpson and wig design by Bobbie Cliffton Zlotnik.  FORBIDDEN BROADWAY: ALIVE AND KICKING is produced by John Freedson, Harriet Yellin and Paul Bartz, in association with Paul G. Rice, Carol Ostrow, Paxton Quigley, Robert Driemeyer, Jamie DeRoy, Lawrence Poster and Tweiss Productions.

The playing schedule for FORBIDDEN BROADWAY: ALIVE AND KICKINGis as follows: Tuesdays through Saturdays at 8pm, Sundays at 7:30pm, with matinees on Wednesdays and Saturdays at 2pm.  Tickets are $29-$79. Premium Tickets are available at $110.Tickets can be purchased by calling Telecharge at (212) 239-6200 or 1-800-432-7250, by visiting or in person at the 47th Street Theatre Box Office 304 West 47th between 8th and 9th Avenues in NYC.