Marie Clark Musical Theatre
The Parks Theatre
Until 28 Feb 2020

Review by Kylie Pedler

The first “Forbidden Broadway” made its off-Broadway debut in 1982. Since then there have been twenty-five editions of this revue show, each taking wicked delight in parodying some of Broadway’s greatest musicals, their legends and directors. In this production, Marie Clark went beyond the Broadway satire and found subtle ways to connect with Adelaide’s own theatre scene; promoting a local show, theatre companies and directors, and winning extra laughs.

Writer, Gerard Alessandrini is a master of parody, with a gift for finding the funny through his choice of material and the way he crafts musical mashups, so for this small ensemble they had a great platform to build from. While individually Robert Bell, Ben Todd, Rachel Newton and Sarah Wildy possess some great vocal talent their harmony numbers didn’t always blend and unfortunately a small cast leaves performers focusing on numbers that aren’t necessarily their strength. Opening night technical issues and jitters also left the overall production a little flat and unpolished.

There were still some great highlights including Bell’s ode to Cameron Macintosh and his souvenir publicity revenue, Wildy’s ‘Defying Subtley’, Todd’s hilarious characterisation of being ‘Somewhat Overindulgent’, and Newton’s 30-something little Annie. Choreographers Rebekah Stonelaiken and Rachel Newton have blended classic Broadway choreography with satirical moves and lines. The use of simple props and wig changes created different characters and helped with the sense of fun. Who wouldn’t want to be conducted through Sondheim by a sparkly silver wand and bouncy razor? Or recreate the famous “Wicked” scene on a milk crate with a miniature mop.

Laughs were to be had and this small audience shared many. Get a ticket for an enjoyable look behind the scenes of Broadway shows and legends and support a local Adelaide company this fringe.

Rating: 3.5 stars (out of 5)