'Forbidden Broadway' extends its run until April

NEW YORK -- The latest edition of the theater spoof "Forbidden Broadway" will be making folks laugh deep into spring.

John Freedson, a producer of the off-Broadway musical revue that hilariously tweaks Broadway shows and stars, said Wednesday that its run will be extended through April 28.

The show opened Sept. 6 at the 47th Street Theatre to strong reviews after a three-year absence from New York. Freedson said the revue has broken box office records at the 194-seat theater and virtually sells out every show.

"There's just this outpouring of love between the audiences and us right now," said Freedson, who started out as a cast member of an edition of "Forbidden Broadway" in Boston in 1985. "We're enjoying being back and basking in the glow."

Show creator and writer Gerard Alessandrini started the revue at a small Upper West Side nightspot in 1982 and watched it grow into an almost annual event with versions in Los Angeles, Boston and London over the next three decades.

The show took a break in 2009 when Alessandrini realized new big hit musicals _ and therefore ripe, easy marks _ weren't making it to Broadway as quickly as in the past. It must close in April because the theater has its own season planned.

The new edition, called "Forbidden Broadway: Alive & Kicking!" goofs on shows including "Annie," `'Newsies," `'Once," `'The Book of Mormon," `'Evita," `'Porgy and Bess," `'Anything Goes," `'Follies" as well of send-ups of Catherine Zeta Jones, Bernadette Peters, Matthew Broderick, Patti LuPone and Mandy Patinkin, among many others.

The four-person cast is composed of Natalie Charle Ellis, Scott Richard Foster, Jenny Lee Stern and Marcus Stevens. It's co-directed by Alessandrini and Phillip George.

Highlights include "Once" getting skewered _ "We're so unpretentious that now we're pretentious," an actor playing lead Steve Kazee sings. A fake Stephen Sondheim complains about revivals of his work: "When they bring back my shows/it's no wonder they close." And the cast of "Jersey Boys" sing "Walk like a man/sing like a girl."

"The general consensus has sort of been, `There's been nobody to cut Broadway down to size while you've been gone and please don't go away again," said Freedson.