Broadway Backwards is Back.
The annual, one-night-only extravaganza Broadway Backwards tells LGBTQ+ stories like no other production on Broadway.
It’s an evening where your favorite Broadway stars, backed by a live orchestra, reinterpret classic and current songs of musical theater into anthems of LGBTQ+ experiences.
Broadway Backwards is produced by Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and benefits Broadway Cares and New York City’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center.
Special guests set to perform this year include George Abud, Philippe Arroyo, Corbin Bleu, Wayne Brady, Len Cariou, Lorna Courtney, Bradley Dean, Dormeshia, Adrianna Hicks, Robyn Hurder, Brittney Mack, Jeigh Madjus, Chris McCarrell, Samantha Pauly, Anthony Rapp, Turner Riley, Lea Salonga, Kyle Scatliffe, A.J. Shively, Ali Stroker, Paulo Szot and Betsy Wolfe.
Broadway Backwards favorite Jenn Colella returns for the third year to host the in-person event. The show features fully staged production numbers and a live orchestra.
Broadway Backwards creator Robert Bartley will again direct the show. Bartley, Lauren Gemelli, Robyn Hurder, Mimi Quillin, Adam Roberts, Luis Salgado and Tony Yazbeck are the show’s choreographers. Music supervisors are Ted Arthur and Mary-Mitchell Campbell. Jeff Brancato serves as production stage manager.
The evening will feature lighting design by Nyle Farmer, sound design by Marie Renee Foucher and prop design by Jenna Snyder and Alexander Wylie. Costume designers are Tyler Carlton Williams, Jess Gersz and Nicole Zausmer. Binder Casting’s Mark Brandon and Chad Eric Murnane return as casting consultants.
Tickets for Broadway Backwards are selling fast.
A limited number of “Backstage & Beyond” ticket packages also are available, which include an exclusive invitation to the dress-tech rehearsal and tour of the New Amsterdam Theatre, premium seats to the show and the special post-show reception with the cast.
Broadway’s A Doll’s House Meticulously Stunning Revival Soars Like a Birdie Above That Clumsy Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
For a revival to find its footing, it has to have a point of view or a sense of purpose far beyond an actor’s desire to perform a part, whether it suits them or not. It needs to radiate an idea that will make us want to sit up and pay attention. To feel its need to exist. And on one particular day in March, I was blessed with the opportunity to see not just one grande revival, but two. One was a detailed pulled-apart revolutionary revival of Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House that astounded. The other, unfortunately, was a clumsy revival of Tennessee Williams’ Cat on a Hot Tin Roof that fell lazily from that high-wired peak – not for a lack of trying, but from a formulation that never found its purpose.
Relevantly Tuneless Fairytale Bad Cinderella Isn’t Bad, It’s Forgettable
You are seriously asking for it, when you make the title for your musical Bad Cinderella, however the show is not bad, it’s just seriously lacking. For an Andrew Lloyd Webber musical, which is normally rich in melody, the only song that has any kind of hold is “Only You, Lonely You” sung by Prince Sebastian (Jordan Dobson or in my performance the wonderful Julio Ray). The lyrics by David Zippel and book by Emerald Fennell, adapted by Alexis Scheer are inane. It doesn’t help that the cast for the most part speaks and sings with mouths full of cotton. The orchestrations sound tinny and computerized, The lead Linedy Genao has no charisma or vocals that soar musically, instead she is rather nasal, like Bernadette Peters with a cold. Why this show is two and a half hours long is beyond me.
The show is based in a town called Belleville (beautiful town en Francais), that is based solely on looks and prides itself on its superficiality. The opening number starts with “Beauty Is Our Duty,” the Queen (a fabulous Grace McLean) is into her hunks including her missing son Charming (Cameron Loyal).
And the fairy godmother (Christina Acosta Robinson) is a plastic surgeon who sings “Beauty Has a Price”. In a day and age, where we are suppose to see past all that, this show is politically incorrect.
Cinderella a Gothic, and a graffiti artist, naturally does not fit into the town’s mold of beauty, which is how she earns her nickname. Her rebel move happens when she defaces a memorial statue of Sebastian’s older brother, Prince Charming. Sebastian is more of a geek, and he and Cinderella are in the “friend zone,” since both lack communication skills in admitting their love.
Sebastian is being forced by his mother, the Queen to find a wife at a ball and invites Cinderella. Cinderella’s stepmother (the always remarkable Carolee Carmello) blackmails the Queen to get one of her daughters Adele (Sami Gayle) or Marie (Morgan Higgins) the gig.
McLean and Carmello are the bright spots in the show and if the show had been about these two, maybe we would actually have a show that could work. These two steal the show.
Cinderella has not one, but two what should have been show stopping numbers “I Know I Have A Heart (Because You Broke It)” and “Far Too Late,” but she does not have the vocals, the character development or the star power to carry them off.
The set and the revenge porn costumes by Gabriela Tylesova, are just over the top, with the storybook set faring much better than the over complicated flowered pastels that waltzed across the stage.
The direction by Laurence Connor is just dull and lacks oomph.
If you like buff men and Chippendale type choreography this is the show for you.
Bad Cinderella, Imperial Theatre, 249 West 45th Street.
Ken Fallin’s Broadway: A Dolls House: Arian Moayed and Jessica Chastain
I went with T2C’s editor to A Dolls House, which inspired this caricature. You can read Suzanna’s review of the show here.
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