"I'm really happy that we're moving to a theater," says Forbidden Broadway spoofmeister Gerard Alessandrini of his long-running show's shift to the Douglas Fairbanks after several years of performances in the basement of Ellen's Stardust Diner. "I've had it with doing the show in a cabaret space in New York. All around the country, we've been performing in small theaters. The show plays much better in that kind of an environment; people listen more and respond more. It's amazing how the laughter rolls.
"I would never want to do the show in a large theater," Alessandrini clarifies, "but the Fairbanks has only 12 more seats than Ellen's. I think it will also be more comfortable for the actors back stage, and the sound will be better." The show currently stars Carter Calvert, Joel Carlton, Robert Gallagher, and FB veteran Christine Pedi, with Glenn Gordon at the piano; the first performance at the Fairbanks is May 10.
So, what's new in the show? Says Alessandrini, "I have a Producers number that I'm working on, of course: It's Mel Brooks singing 'I Want to Be a Composer.' I'm not sure when we're putting it in. It'll never be as funny as anything that's actually in The Producers, but at least it will be clever and inclusive."
Given the title of the present edition, Forbidden Broadway 2001: A Spoof Odyssey, Alessandrini has to come up with a new slate of songs and sketches by the beginning of next year. "That was planned," he notes, "because our 20th anniversary is coming up in January. For a while, we didn't know what to call the current edition. We almost called it Forbidden Broadway Beats a Dead Horse! Anyway, the new show will open in January 2002--at the Fairbanks."