Home Headlines Forbidden Broadway Creator Gerard Alessandrini’s 10 Favorite Theatregoing Experiences

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Forbidden Broadway Creator Gerard Alessandrini’s 10 Favorite Theatregoing Experiences

Gerard Alessandrini has been writing spoofs of Broadway musicals and stars since Forbidden Broadway made its Off-Broadway debut in 1982. Twenty-five editions of the award-winning revue have performed world wide within the almost 40 years since that point. The newest model from Alessandrini, the critically acclaimed Forbidden Broadway: The Subsequent Technology, took its ultimate bow at The Triad in December and resumes performances January 15 at The York Theatre Firm at Saint Peter’s for a restricted engagement by way of February 16.

We lately requested Forbidden creator-writer-director Alessandrini, who’s the recipient of a Drama League Lifetime Achievement Award and a Particular Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in Theatre, to pen a listing of his most memorable theatregoing experiences. His decisions observe.

Glynis Johns in A Little Night time Music

Glynis Johns and Len Cariou in A Little Night Music.

Glynis Johns and Len Cariou in A Little Night time Music.

Martha Swope / The New York Public Library


Her efficiency as Desiree has by no means been topped. She has simply the suitable mixture of glamour and comedic daring. On the one hand, she was brilliantly witty and really touching, and heartbreaking on the opposite. Her dramatic interpretation and distinctive voice singing “Ship within the Clowns” won’t ever go away my reminiscence or be surpassed.

Christopher Plummer in Cyrano (1973 musical)

Christopher Plummer in <i>Cyrano</i>

Christopher Plummer in Cyrano

Carl Byoir & Associates


The Anthony Burgess translation used on this 1973 musical, for which he additionally penned the lyrics, is taken into account by far one of the best English model of Cyrano de Bergerac. In reality, it’s now used, sans music, by the Royal Shakespeare Firm. Christopher Plummer in all probability knew so and gave the present 200 %. His athletic power and star presence are unsurpassed within the position. His singing was pretty good, however his dramatic interpretations of the lyrics comparable to “I By no means Liked You” was completely very good. Take heed to his Tony Award-winning efficiency on the unique Broadway solid album.

Carol Channing in Whats up, Dolly! (1994 revival)

Carol Channing in Hello, Dolly!

Carol Channing in Whats up, Dolly!

Martha Swope / The New York Public Library


Her iconic portrayal and interpretation have been so distinctive and true they’ve guided and impressed each Dolly since. It’s little question she was as shut in actual life to the true Dolly as potential, spreading pleasure, knowledge, and songs all over the place she went. What amazed me most about Carol’s efficiency in later years is just not so the a lot the dazzling musical numbers, however the monologues she delivered when she speaks/prays to her useless husband, Ephraim. So, touching, actual, and delightful.

Kenneth Branagh in Henry V

Kenneth Branagh

Kenneth Branagh


I noticed this efficiency in London, when Mr. Branagh first carried out this position. He was not but a star title and had but to movie his {movie} model. He was so charismatic, energetic, and his diction was so crisp and delightful, it was astounding. He additionally had a virility that made you completely consider he was a warrior king who might conquer France merely utilizing Shakespearean verse!

Cherry Jones in Doubt

Cherry Jones in <i>Doubt</i>

Cherry Jones in Doubt

Joan Marcus


This was some of the fascinating and intense performances Ms. Jones ever gave, and that’s saying rather a lot! So deep and sub-textual it catapulted this superb drama into the very good. I’ve at all times mourned the truth that Ms. Jones by no means re-created the position within the {movie} model. Her efficiency was a lot extra life like, riveting, and distinctive than the considerably campy efficiency given by Ms. Streep within the movie.

Nora Mae Lyng in Forbidden Broadway

Nora Mae Lyng was a real comedian genius in each sense. She had a singular combination of glamour and crassness that was startling and hysterical. Good for parody. I’ve by no means seen or encountered an actress with higher comedian timing. She additionally had a forceful and extremely excessive belt voice that even surpassed Ethel Merman! Don’t overlook, her distinctive star qualities launched Forbidden Broadway into being the longest-running revue of all time. It was her expertise and persona that impressed me to create and write FB, and even as we speak I consider her abilities when I’m writing a brand new quantity.

Brian Stokes Mitchell in Ragtime

Brian Stokes Mitchell and Audra McDonald in Ragtime.

Brian Stokes Mitchell and Audra McDonald in Ragtime.

Catherine Ashmore


His star high quality, dramatic performing ability, and delightful voice made Coalhouse Walker Jr. come to life with an incredible pressure and unsurpassed energy. In Ragtime, he had formidable stage presence and dignity. He additionally has an incredible humanity that comes by way of in all his work, however most superbly within the superb musical model of Ragtime. He was magnificent and emotionally transferring.

Brian Bedford in The Faculty for Wives

Carole Shelley, Brian Bedford, and Mary Beth Hurt in <i>The School for Wives</i>

Brian Bedford in The Faculty for Wives

Martha Swope


Within the 1970’s, Brian Bedford made fairly a stir together with his Molière performances. His Faculty for Wives was joyfully humorous and miraculously witty. Mr. Bedford’s impish and mischievous high quality was good for the sleek, cunning story and ideal for this Richard Wilbur translation of Molière. In reality, Mr. Wilbur’s rhyming couplets made my lyric-writing coronary heart rejoice. However it was Mr. Bedford’s good and ingenious efficiency that made all of it so memorable.

Charles Busch in The Divine Sister

Charles Busch and Julie Halston

Charles Busch and Julie Halston

Picture by David Rodgers


Charles is just not solely an incredible comic however has the guts, thoughts, and expertise equal to any of the best feminine stars of the 20th century. In The Divine Sister, his wit and fabulous writing was unbelievably humorous, but when he included into this present the popularity scene from the play Anastasia, he was extra touching and good than Ingrid Bergman in her Oscar-winning efficiency! I hear his subsequent upcoming position is even higher. Additionally, Julie Halston’s good efficiency on this and every little thing else is a superb “finest,” too!

Bernadette Peters in Follies

Follies_Broadway_Production_Photos_2011_Bernadette_Peters_HR-2.jpg

Bernadette Peters

Joan Marcus


When Ms. Peters took on the position of Sally within the final Broadway revival of Follies, it clarified a lot for me concerning the position because it’s written. She gave the impression to be actually “Shedding Her Thoughts.” It was a brave alternative, and that’s what an incredible efficiency is all about, isn’t it? Daring and thrilling decisions! Ms. Peters’ voice additionally sublimely match Sondheim’s nice songs for Sally, carried out with abandon and nice depth. It was one of the best factor I’ve ever seen her do…and that’s spectacular!

5 nice performances that may be on the above record if I had seen them…

Angela Lansbury in Mame

Angela Lansbury in Mame

Friedman-Abeles / The New York Public Library


Angela Lansbury as Mame
Richard Burton in Camelot
Pearl Bailey in Whats up, Dolly!
Alfred Drake in Kismet
Ethel Merman in Gypsy

Boyd Willms
Boyd Willms was always fascinated by the workings of the human body. Nothing for him could have been beter than being a health news journalist to get more insights by scientific community dedicated to better health. By writing news articles for the latest happenings in the world of health, he aims to create awareness among the readers to help them include healthy options in their daily lifestyle. Apart from writing, he also takes care of the editorial team at Scoop Square24.