‘Forbidden Broadway’ creator on the art of spoofs

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George, who began working with Alessandrini in 1988, says that like the lyrics, he tries to change as little as possible from the original staging so that skits look like the original. He credits Alessandrini with creating material every time that’s fresh and silly.

“On the one hand, he’s one of the smartest people I know,” says George. “On the other hand, nothing makes him laugh harder than really infantile humor. It’s that combination of intelligence and the fact that what really tickles his funny bone is the silliest stuff in the world. I think that’s why the show works.”

Alessandrini is quick to point out that his own views about shows aren’t necessarily reflected in his jokes. For instance, this year he has Judy Garland complaining about how she was portrayed by Tracie Bennett in “End of the Rainbow,” but he actually enjoyed the show and Bennett’s performance.

“It almost sometimes has nothing to do with my take,” he says.

Part of the joy of “Forbidden Broadway” is the skill Alessandrini displays turning the original lyrics inside-out and fitting in his own lines. “Lyric writing is like doing a crossword puzzle. I think it’s an acquired accomplishment,” he says.

The show’s format _ four actors juggling multiple characters in a musical revue in front of a glittery curtain _ hasn’t altered in three decades and there are no plans to do so. “I figure if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it,” Alessandrini says.

And the cyclical nature of Broadway means he’s once again spoofing “Evita” and “Annie” this year _ shows he originally made fun of at the first one in 1982.

“It hasn’t changed much over 30 years,” he says with a laugh.





Follow Mark Kennedy on Twitter at http://twitter.com/KennedyTwits

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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