Friday, March 21, 2014

'Forbidden Broadway: Alive and Kicking' a great one-night show at ECA

Courtesy "Forbidden Broadway"



If you haven’t yet been out to Edmonds and attended any of the multitude of entertainments at their now 6-year-old revamped performance venue, Edmonds Center for the Arts (ECA), you can get on their mailing list. It’s at 401 4th Avenue North, just north of Main Street in downtown Edmonds. They claim that they’ve hosted over 1,000 events there in the last six years!



A recent event at ECA was a one-night presentation of Forbidden Broadway. Forbidden Broadway has been around in various spoofy variations for some years. This particular iteration is subtitled: Alive and Kicking.



Creator Gerard Alessandrini keeps it updated, adding new jokes and newly skewered musicals as they debut on Broadway. It’s won a number of award from New York-centric award organizations, like Drama Critics’ Circle, and the Obie. Some of the actors cast in it have gone on to star in other Broadway shows or television and movies. Alessandrini started the whole thing off in 1982.



The production at ECA on March 15th starred Gina Kreiezmar, Kevin B. McGlynn, Craig Laurie, and Jeanne Montano. The pianist/music director was Catherine Stornetta. Kreiezmar has been part of the fun since 1992. She showed amazing versatility as a mimic when she sang like Patti Lupone, Ethel Merman, Liza Minelli and Mary Poppins.



Montano, another veteran of FB versions, also had some great moments of mimicry as she took on Sarah Brightman and Fantine from Les Miserables – in an extended funny skit about Les Miz where they pretended they were whirled around the stage on the circling set. Laurie and McGlynn also amped up the fun with spoofs of The Lion King (the circle of mice), Beauty and the Beast, Oklahoma, Yoko Ono, Mandy Patinkin, Avenue Q puppets, Chicago, Jersey Boys, the Book of Mormon and Once.



Each of the two short acts was full of jokes about banal storylines, producers focused more on making money than on making good shows, and creating jokes that musical theater insiders could love to laugh at. Stornetta kept the music coming as the one-person band.



It was a top-notch production and a shame that it was only resident for the one evening. That is often the case with performances at ECA, so if this is the kind of fare you like, you’d do well to attend to the calendar of events or the emails to make sure you get to see those one-night offerings.



For more information, go to www.ec4arts.org or call 425-275-9595.