Friday, May 11, 2012

Theater Review: Forbidden Broadway

I love watching theater plays and musicals. Although I didn't grow up frequenting live shows, I was familiar with the stories of Annie, South Pacific, Fiddler on the Roof, etc. I am very grateful that these past years, I have been privileged to catch the performances of some of Philippine theater's most talented stage actors and actresses, which helped expand my knowledge about theater even more.

So I was really excited when I found out that Upstart Productions, under the direction of my favorite "Caveman" Joel Trinidad, would be staging a show called Forbidden Broadway which spoofs various theater shows and personalities. I knew it would be a hoot after seeing a sneak peek during the press conference held last month. 

I watched the press preview last night and was entertained from beginning to end. In fact, I was left wanting to see more because all four actors: Liesl Batucan, Caisa Borromeo, OJ Mariano, and Lorenz Martinez, were really, really good!

A lot of the spoofed song lyrics were so hilarious, my seatmates and I found ourselves laughing out loud again and again as each segment rolled out in front of us. Liesl's rendition of Annie's song, Tomorrow, was such a riot; it was really, really funny! Caisa's version of Les Miserables' On My Own Phone is another must-see as well as OJ's breathy-voiced Phantom (of the Opera) and Lorenz's portrayal of a character from Cats.  

Caisa's transformation into a green witch (for the Wicked number) had us rolling in our seats. Do watch the show to find out why. The choreography in many of the dance numbers made us grin and guffaw especially when OJ and Lorenz played bare-chested back-up dancers to one of Liesl's numbers.

I knew that each night of the run, the show would have a surprise guest and, last night, we had such a great time watching no other than Joel's dad, Mr. Noel Trinidad, sing a very, very funny song. I heard other celebrities like Lea Salonga, Aiza Seguerra, Nyoy Volante, Jett Pangan, Menchu Lauchengo-Yulo, and more would make special appearances on certain nights. If only I could watch them all, I would! 

Although there a lot of notable scenes from various musicals like Rent, West Side Story, Hairspray, and more, I'd say my top favorite of all was the one where the fantastic four spoofed the song Tradition from Fiddler on the Roof. My goodness, the lyrics are pure genius and the choreography is hysterical! Lorenz's Tevye even had a vest that can't seem to remain zipped up and which added to the merriment.

If I get to watch the show a few more times, I don't think I would get tired of it. That's how good it is! And a big part of that success goes to not only the director and his awesome cast, but to the people behind and around the stage who made everything, from start to finish, a very smooth, and wonderful, ride for everyone.

For those wondering if they'd like Forbidden Broadway even if they are not that immersed in the world of theater, I'm sure you'd also enjoy many of the spoofed versions. You'll not only laugh out loud at the actions alone but, if you listen carefully, you'll also get the humor in many of the song lyrics.

Know more about how the show came to be staged in Manila. Please read my previous post about the production here.

Forbidden Broadway will run from May 11 to May 27, 2012 with shows on Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00PM and matinee shows on Saturdays and Sundays at 3:00PM. All performances will be at the C.P. Romulo Auditorium, RCBC Plaza, Makati. Don't let the chance to watch it pass you by!!!

For tickets, inquiries, and other information, call Upstart Productions at 0917.5285678 or email or Tickets are also available through Ticketworld at 891-9999 or

Visit, add Upstart Prod on Facebook, and follow Upstart Productions or joel_trinidad on Twitter.

*To view more pictures, please visit this blog's Facebook fan page's Forbidden Broadway photo album 

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