Imagine all the ugliness and theater-hating meanness of a Forbidden Broadway revue, only not funny. And when I say ‘not funny’, I don’t mean not _as_ funny. I mean that there isn’t a single funny joke in the entire show.
For those lucky enough not to know, this show consists of five one-act playlets attempting shallow satires of famous musical-theater composers and the kind of shows they’re known for. The section parodying Lloyd-Webber is, as one would expect from theater snobs, the most vitriolic and hateful, but even the Rodgers and Hammerstein and Sondheim parodies are nakedly contemptuous of their subjects.
When the authors aren’t whacking away at tired old complaints, they’re making groan-inducing puns on show titles like ‘Specific overtures’ or ‘A funny thing happened on the way to decorum’. Even the music is mind-numbingly banal, especially the incredibly annoying gimmick music that the authors apparently think sounds like Sondheim.
This show has actually raised my opinion of Forbidden Broadway slightly, simply because I now see how much worse this kind of mean-spirited satire can get.