WEEKEND: Production opening tonight in Port Angeles spoofs Broadway musicals
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The cast of “Forbidden Broadway's Greatest Hits” pokes fun at “Les Miserables” — and many other musicals — at the Port Angeles Community Playhouse. — Photo by Diane Urbani de la Paz/Peninsula Daily News

By Diane Urbani de la Paz
Peninsula Daily News

“FORBIDDEN BROADWAY'S GREATEST HITS'' opens at 7:30 tonight [Friday, April 25] at the Port Angeles Community Playhouse, 1235 E. Lauridsen Blvd., and continues every Friday, Saturday and Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m. through May 10. Matinees are slated for 2 p.m. each Sunday through May 11. Reserved seats are $12; student tickets are $6 and can be purchased in advance at Odyssey Books, 114 W. Front St.

The playhouse doors open 30 minutes before curtain time, and any remaining tickets will be sold at the door. General seating tickets are available for $6 at the door Tuesday nights only.

For information, see www.PACommunityPlayers.com or phone 360-452-6651.

Peninsula Daily News
PORT ANGELES — When you're lucky enough to be cast in a real, live Broadway musical, you'd better get serious.

“You're not supposed to mug or chew up the scenery,” advises actress Angela Poynter-Lemaster.

That scenery, like a ticket to the show, is god-awful expensive. Yet the people come to the Great White Way in droves, to gaze up at the bright stars and the big shows, from “Fiddler on the Roof” to “Les Miserables,” “Wicked” and “Hairspray.”

Now, let's throw that all out the window. Nothing — nobody — is sacred in “Forbidden Broadway's Greatest Hits,” the low-budget musical opening tonight for a three-week run at the Port Angeles Community Playhouse. The cast of nubile youngsters alongside weathered veterans sings, dances and over-acts its way through a slew of famous shows. It's one big musical number after another — each tweaked to the max.

Jayna Orchard and Olivia Shea play Rita and Chita, rival actresses with full skirts and thick accents. Jeremy Pederson's emotion-fest is “Somewhat Over-Indulgent,” sung to the tune of “Over the Rainbow.” Nikki Adams, raggedy as can be for her “Les Miserables” turn, clutches her device in “On My Phone,” a parody of Eponine's plaintive “On My Own.”

Shea, as Carol Channing with a walker, delivers a memorable rendition of “Hello Dolly.” Sean Peck-Collier is the Phantom of the Opera, and Richard Stephens, star of “Fiddler on the Roof,” presides at Tevye's Kosher School of Acting.

Then there are the foam body suits for the “Hairspray” numbers. Stephens built them, “with something like a 72-inch bustline,” he promises. And they're just one example of “Forbidden's” over-the-topness.

And the aforementioned mugging and scenery-chewing? Strongly encouraged, Poynter-Lemaster says. “We put the broad in Broadway,” adds the actress, who just moved here from the Cincinnati area.

Poynter-Lemaster plays the witch in “Wicked,” and instead of singing “Defying Gravity,” her version is “Defying Subtlety.”

When asked for the meaning of it all Poynter-Lemaster had a quick answer: “Don't take yourself too seriously as a performer.”

At the helm of this romp is Ron Graham, the well-known actor and director, while Denise McClain is musical director, Geri Zanon and Jim Couture play piano and keyboard on stage and Anna Unger has created original choreography for the show. The cast is completed by actors from across the North Olympic Peninsula: Elise Ray, Curt White, Misha Casella-Blackburn, Dani Chamberlain and B.J. Kavanaugh.

“Forbidden” climaxes with a heartfelt, though altered, rendition of “What I Did for Love” from “A Chorus Line.”

“We change the lyrics in it,” Poynter-Lemaster says, “but it rings true in its message. We've made fun of these shows and these great performers. But we do it with love.”

Last modified: April 24. 2014 9:50PM
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