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Theater Review: 'Forbidden Broadway: Alive and Kicking' -- 4 stars

From left to right, Marcus Stevens, Natalie Charl�

From left to right, Marcus Stevens, Natalie Charl� Ellis, Jenny Lee Stern and Scott Richard Foster kneeling in a scene from FORBIDDEN BROADWAY: ALIVE AND KICKING at the 47th Street Theatre. Credit: Carol Rosegg

Forbidden Broadway: Alive and Kicking
4 stars

After a painful three-year hiatus, "Forbidden Broadway," Gerard Alessandrini's much beloved Off-Broadway revue parodying Broadway musicals with songs and sketches, has returned.

The Broadway community needs to be able to laugh at itself - and so do the theatergoers. "Forbidden Broadway" is rather like a good-spirited antidote for both flops and successes that are taken too seriously.

This fabulous new edition tackles many new musicals including "Once," "Newsies," "The Book of Mormon" and "Spider-Man" plus high-profile revivals like "Porgy and Bess," "Evita" and "Follies."

Consisting of just a pianist and four actors aided by elaborate costume designs, "Forbidden Broadway" is most distinguished by Alessandrini's very witty and hilarious lyrics, which are seamlessly combined with the actual music from each show.

Alessandrini targets and tackles Broadway folks like Elena Roger for her inability to handle the vocal demands of "Evita" and Julie Taymor and Bono and their battle for control of "Spider-Man."

Some of the spot-on impersonations performed by the very nimble cast include Marcus Stevens as a nasal and awkward Matthew Broderick in "Nice Work if You Can Get It" (singing "Nice Work If I Could Sing It.")

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