I planned flying over to New York for quite some time now but kept on postponing it from year to year, but when I found quite reasonably priced flights on Singapore Airlines (whose SIN-JFK direct service is scheduled to stop in Frankfurt for refuelling and whose second leg can be bought separately) last November, I couldn’t help myself and booked flight, hotel and show tickets immediately after my leave was approved. And now, three months later, I finally made it to the city that never sleeps!
The main purpose of this trip is to watch as many shows as possible (what else could it be...), and I’ll fill the spare time with a bit of sightseeing and shopping. My first idea was to post short reviews into the existing threads on here, but as some shows aren’t running (yet, hopefully, or anymore, unfortunately) in the West End, I thought to start a Broadway 2014 Master Thread and to post the reviews simply there. In case any of you come over here as well, feel free to re-use this thread
And now, enough of introduction and let’s start with my first show on Broadway, which was Forbidden Broadway.
FORBIDDEN BROADWAY– DAVENPORT THEATRE – WED FEB 26TH, 2PM
I hadn’t originally planned to use this time slot at all, as my flight was scheduled to arrive at JFK airport at 11.05 am and as I was unsure how long immigration, waiting for luggage and transfer into town would take. Unexpectedly, I was quite lucky and arrived at my hotel in Chelsea at 1.10pm, dropped my luggage in my room and rushed over to the Davenport Theatre, where I arrived at 1.40pm to get a ticket for the 2pm Matinee. So technically, my first show on Broadway was actually Off-Broadway.
Forbidden Broadway is known for parodying Musical Theatre, especially Broadway shows, for which it also won a special Tony Award. The current production (named Alive and still Kicking) included songs from Pippin, Aladdin (A Whole New World became A Disney World), Matilda (e.g. Revoltin’ Children became Exploitin’ Children), Once, Wicked, Cinderella, Lion King, Cabaret, Newsies, Book of Mormon, Annie, Wicked, Jersey Boys, Motown, Les Mis (Bring Him Home became Bring It Down (Song is too high, change the key), One Day More became One Run More and On My Own became On My Phone), Sound of Music.
I really enjoyed the show, even though I did not get all of the references and jokes. Some parts were not to understand without having seen the show (e.g. Pippin and Cinderella and two songs/jokes in the second act (one was apparently about Mandy Patinkin (?)) where I had not the tiniest idea what they were about), others worked fine without knowing the show (Aladdin, Cabaret, Annie), but the funniest parts were the shows I already knew (Matilda (!), Book of Mormon, Once, Les Mis). The program wasn’t completely new, as I did know some of the songs from their earlier cast recordings (Jersey Boys, Once, Book of Mormon). But at least with Aladdin and Les Mis, they were ahead of their time.
The four cast members were brilliant and it was fascinating how they could play so many different parts in that short time. They were accompanied by the MD on the piano, which was more than sufficient for the show, as an orchestra would have been too much. The theatre was with about fifty people roughly half full. Only disadvantage is the rather short running time. Including a ten minutes Interval, I had left the theatre again at 3.35pm. But still, if you get the chance, go and see it. And we definitely need a Forbidden Westend or a revival of Jest End in town.
John_RebusMember Since 07 Jan 2013
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