The hallowed shows of Broadway get a satirical examination this week, at the Lucille Ball Little Theatre of Jamestown, in their current production of "Forbidden Broadway."
"Forbidden Broadway" is a whole series of shows which actually run Off-Broadway. The shows change every few months, to poke fun at shows which may have opened since the previous version was made.
LBLTJ's version spoofs, among many others, "Chicago," "Hello Dolly," "A Chorus Line," "Mamma Mia," "Rent," and the central target of the evening, "Les Miserables."
The show's principal performers were Julie Cotter, Jennifer Davis, Jim Foley, Matt Jones, Carla Kayes, Bob Ostrom, Linda Rinaldo, and Steve Wendell. Chorus members were Amie Adams, Rob Paul, William Paul, Alisha Parrone, and Rebecca Young.
The show had a single, neutral set, on which the musical spoofs unreeled, rather like a production of "Saturday Night Live." The set was a joint effort by designers Rich Hartling, Norm Merrill, and Helen Merrill.
Ms. Merrill directed with her well-known energy and pizzazz.
Seated in the center of the stage through the entire production were instrumentalists Lucille Miller on piano, Ruth Dobbs on cello, and Basil Gedz on drums.
Most of the set pieces were familiar, and could be recognized by nearly everyone. The scene in which someone impersonated Carol Channing, singing that she can't sing, dance, or act, so she does "Hello Dolly," year after year, for example, or when the entire cast dressed like the cast or "A Chorus Line" sang about "What We Did for Laughs," to the tune of "What I Did for Love."
The scene in which a 30-year-old Annie puffs a cigarette while bemoaning that she hasn't gotten a role since she was 10, was a classic.
Other pieces might be a bit arcane for many in the audience. The rivalry between Chita Rivera and Rita Moreno over the role of Anita in "West Side Story," did take place more than 50 years ago, for example, and the bit about how Idina Menzel owns the role of the Wicked Witch in the show ''Wicked,'' might leave some wondering.
The show is light and it's funny. "Forbidden Broadway" continues tonight, tomorrow, and Oct. 4, 5, 6, and 7 at the LBLTJ's own theater, on East Second St., in downtown Jamestown.