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Forbidden Broadway is always a good fun show, allowing the cast to sing some wonderful show numbers, using different words, created to reflect the musical and a general perception of it.

I thought Act 1 started rather slowly, but built to a more satisfying and funny conclusion, whilst Act 2 was more engaging the whole way through.  

There were some repeat numbers from the last show, but overall I liked the mix of the content.

The cast of Jenna Ryder-Oliver, Lucy O’Hare, Josh Thompson, Barbara Morton, Katy Elliott, Susan Young, Alana McKenna, Alex Wheeler, Simon Rollings, Roxy Parkins, Damien Winchester and James Halling, all gave really good toungue-in-cheek performances, and where the cast joined together there were excellent harmonies, which is a trademark of Director Chris Young, and when we have an experienced cast these are eminently achievable.

There were lots of quick changes, which were accomplished well, and added to the fast and furious pace onstage.

I liked the costumes in the main – they seemed to fit the mood of the songs, and we had some beautiful wigs and hairstyles from Gary Bates, who never fails to deliver, and which adds much to the general ‘look’ of a show.

As usually with an ensemble piece it is difficult to comment on all the pieces, so I have just highlighted some that I found most engaging/amusing.

I particularly the Book of Moron – incredibly funny, and the five guys really gave it their all – to make it one of the stand out sections.

Barbara Morton was charming as Julie Andrews, and although I know she wasn’t keen on the wig, I thought it looked really nice, and gave her face a whole new look!  Barbara was also amusing as Carol Channing, supported (almost literally) by the two boys!

Susan Young looked very different in her Les Mis-type role, to that of Annie, both were well-studied.

Lucy O’Hare gave us a super Matilda-type character, with Josh Thompson as the dreaded school mistress – a well thought out scene.

I liked the build up to and the finale of Act 1 – there were some good takes on well-known songs.

The two witches – Alana McKenna and Roxy Parkins -  and the Sondheim section were very clever – creating real belly laughs, whilst the sight of Josh Thompson as a cat once again caused much hilarity.

There was some really good choreography from Helen Maile,  that suited the moods of the various pieces, and which the cast accomplished well.

Lighting design from Tom Young was good – enhancing the various moods of the scenes, and sound from Graham Elliott and Aidan Brown was great – heard all the words, and enjoyed the accompaniment from David Morton, it was there, but only well-marked where needed, and when the cast weren’t singing – a good balance.

Damien Winchester as Jennifer Hudson was absolutely first rate – good showmanship and he certainly looked the part.  Loved the wig and costume.

Jenna Ryder-Oliver gave us a beautifully exaggerated Barbra Streisand, someone I don’t like normally, but Jenna sent her up so well I enjoyed it.

I have only been able to pick out a few highlights, as there was no running order to refer to, but suffice to say, I hope the audiences picked up over the week, and enjoyed the production, whilst having a relaxing, laughter-filled evening.

Dunstable Amatuer Operatic Society

FORBIDDEN BROADWAY’s GREATEST HITS” review date: 6th Oct 2015 Little Theatre, Dunstable

Director & MD: Chris Young

Choreographer: Helen Maile


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