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Something Delicious, and Slightly Vicious, Something for Everyone: A Parody Tonight

April 09, 2007

RPO presents the wit and humor of “Forbidden Broadway”

Rochester, NY – Classic Broadway musicals of the 1940s through Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Phantom of the Opera and beyond, provide plenty of fodder for the clever wit and humor of Forbidden Broadway, appearing with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra on Friday, April 27 and Saturday April 28 at 8 p.m.  Under the direction of the show’s Musical Director Catherine Stornetta, the multi-talented four-member ensemble parodies and lampoons numerous well-known musicals including Chicago, Annie, Les Miz, Fiddler on the Roof, The Lion King and more, all in good fun.  Big-name entertainer personalities such as Liza Minelli, Robert Goulet, Ethel Merman and Carol Channing also are not “spoof-proof.”

Last Fall, Broadway icon Angela Lansbury presented Forbidden Broadway with a special 2006 Tony® Honor for Excellence in the Theatre, in recognition of its accomplishments as an off-Broadway phenomenon.  In this Rochester premiere, audiences will see and hear take-offs on Chicago (“Long as you move like oiled machinery/ They’ll never spot we got no scenery”), The Lion King (“Can you feel the pain tonight?”) by actors in neck braces bemoaning heavy costumes, and Annie (“I’m 30 years old/Tomorrow”) among numerous other parodies of well-known Broadway shows.  The more than 20 costumes are by Tony award-winning designer Alvin Colt.

New York’s longest-running musical – now in its 25th year – Forbidden Broadway first was seen at Palsson’s Supper Club on New York’s Upper West Side in 1982.  Looking for a showcase for his talents, unemployed actor Gerard Alessandrini assembled some of the musical parodies of Broadway shows he had written over the years into a nightclub act.  Critics and audiences were wowed, and since that time, the show has won Drama Desk, Obie and Outer Critics Circle Awards.  Although the show often tours the world as a small act, Forbidden Broadway has collaborated in the orchestral revue format with the Minnesota Orchestra, the Hartford Symphony and the Adelaide (Australia) Cabaret Festival Orchestra.

The talented cast coming to Rochester features Gina Kreiezmar, Brian Patrick Miller, Danica Connors and Nick Verina, all of whom have appeared with Forbidden Broadway among numerous other Broadway, off-Broadway, regional and touring shows.  Music Director Catherine Stornetta conducts and has orchestrated Forbidden Broadway for symphony orchestra.  She also composed the score for the Cable ACE award-winning documentary on Christa McAuliffe, Teacher in Space, produced for the Arts and Entertainment Network Biography series, and she has written and produced two cabarets.  She is currently a faculty member at Boston Conservatory.  Forbidden Broadway’s madcap creator, writer and director Alessandrini has written and directed all 15 editions of the show around the world and has produced eight cast albums. 

Tickets for these performances are $20-$56, available online 24/7 at www.rpo.org, by phone (454-2100) and in person from the RPO Box Office, as well as at any Wegmans locations.  RPO Box Office hours are Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. (non-concert Saturdays, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.). Wegmans is open seven days a week. A convenience fee may apply.  The WPOP Series is sponsored by Wegmans; this concert is sponsored by Corning.

Now in its 84th season, the RPO inspires and enriches the community through the art of music.  The Orchestra is passionately dedicated to outstanding musical performance at the highest artistic levels, and has a unique tradition of musical versatility, commitment to music education in the broadest sense and a deep and enduring engagement with the community.  The RPO has been honored with the New York State Governor’s Arts Award, and two recent ASCAP awards for adventurous programming.

RPO performances are made possible in part with grants from the National Endowment for the Arts; the New York State Council on the Arts, a State Agency; the State of New York; Monroe County; the City of Rochester; and American Airlines, the official airline of the RPO. 



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