Forbidden Broadway comes to Menier

Published April 17, 2009

Long-running New York satirical revue Forbidden Broadway returns to London for the first time in a decade with a summer season at the Menier Chocolate Factory, from 25 June to 13 September (press night 2 July).

Forbidden Broadway is written by Gerard Alessandrini, who, as an unemployed actor in 1982, put together a selection of his musical parodies of Broadway shows as a nightclub act. A hit with critics, Forbidden Broadway went on to play in New York for 27 years, only closing last month. It last paid a visit to London in 1999 where it transferred to the West End after a spell at the Jermyn Street theatre.

This updated version, created especially for the Menier Chocolate Factory, takes an informal and entertaining look at the history of American musical theatre, lampooning and spoofing current and contemporary musicals as well as targeting actors, directors, composers and writers. Forbidden Broadway features numbers from productions including The Lion King, The Phantom Of The Opera, Hairspray, Wicked, Avenue Q, plus La Cage Aux Folles and Sunday In The Park With George, both of which have been produced by the Menier Chocolate Factory in recent years.

The cast is led by Anna-Jane Casey, who starred as Dot in Sunday In The Park With George at the Menier and has numerous West End credits to her name including Cats, Starlight Express, West Side Story and Chicago.

Casey is joined by Alasdair Harvey and Steven Kynman, both of whom appeared alongside her in Sunday In The Park With George. Harvey’s other credits include Beauty And The Beast, Les Misèrables and Side By Side By Sondheim, while Kynman recently appeared in Monty Python’s Spamalot. The cast is completed by Sophie-Louise Dann, who appeared in Forbidden Broadway in London in 1999. They are directed by Philip George.

Currently at the Menier Chocolate Factory is Ben Travers’s farce Rookery Nook, which began previews yesterday and opens to the press on 29 April. The venue’s productions of Sondheim’s A Little Night Music and Jerry Herman’s La Cage Aux Folles are  playing at the West End.