Traveler's USA Notebook

News,  Discoveries and Pleasures


Lehigh Valley
Hot Springs
Little Rock
Los Angeles
Rosemary Beach
Thimble islands

The Astrology  of Travel
Health on the Road
Luxe Guides







Forbidden Broadway — The Next Generation

Posted 10/20/19

Forbidden Broadway reviewed  by Fern Siegel for

It’s funny, witty and satiric, so it must be Forbidden Broadway — The Next Generation. The latest incarnation at Off-Broadway’s Triad Theater eviscerates with glee, thanks to musical parodist Gerard Alessandrini.

And he’s hired the hardest-working quintet in the theater. Chris Collins-Pisano, Jenny Lee Stern, Aline Mayagoitia, Immanuel Houston and Joshua Turchin are super-talented performers.

 A standout: Stern as Judy Garland, angry at all the depictions of her life, is a showstopper.

The first new edition since 2014, Forbidden Broadway: The Next Generation targets hits new and old. It slices Waitress — “The worst pies on Broadway since Sweeney Todd” — and even takes a humorous swipe at TV’s Fosse/Verdon.

Satirist Alessandrini sets his sights on Broadway’s newcomers, such as Moulin Rouge, decrying it as big and vulgar, while having its star, Karen Olivo (Aline Mayagoitia), belt out “a jukebox is a star’s best friend.”

Evan Hansen (or Evan Has-Been here) is slammed for being too precious. Young Joshua Turchin gives Ben Platt a run for his money as he sends up the Tony winner’s performance.

The dark, 21st-century revival of the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic is smartly revamped as “Woke-lahoma!” It neatly skewers some of the more questionable choices in the smokehouse scene, as well as lamenting the current incarnation “crucified Agnes de Mille.” Then again, “Oh What A Miserable Mornin'”  says it all.

Frozen’s “girly-swirly scenery” gets lampooned as does Beetlejuice, dubbed “drag-queen insufferable.” No onecan resist Bette Midler, Bernadette Peters and Jennifer Holiday pitching comeback ideas. Hello Dolly Madison anyone? 

Alessandrini has a gift for taking famous show tunes and revamping the lyrics to his particular needs. Over the years, he’s lacerated the Disney-fication of Broadway, exorbitant ticket prices and the alarming trend of turning mediocre movies into musicals.

It’s clear he loves the theater and his jibes, which can be both affectionate and lethal, are in the service of — and respect for — his passion.

Audiences don’t have to be theater mavens to get the jokes, but for those who are, it’s heaven-sent.  —Fern Siegel