CLAYTON, CA (Oct. 27, 2022) — It’s amazing what a small theater company can do with determination and talent. Clayton Theatre has both in spades with its current production “Forbidden Broadway’s Greatest Hits.”
A large undertaking for the small company, Gerard Alessandrini’s satirical spoof of Broadway shows requires 110 costume and countless wig changes. But the intrepid Clayton Theatre Company carries it off with panache.
Director Roxanne Pardi and her 10-person cast takes the audience on a hilarious tour of such Broadway shows as “Chicago,” “Annie,” “Wicked,” “Phantom of the Opera” and so many more. With tongue firmly planted in cheek, the talented ensemble displays its comedic talent and considerable singing abilities through parodies of “Razzle Dazzle,” “Rent,” “Tradition,” and “What I Did for Love” to name just a few.
Cast and crew
The cast features Nathalie Archangel (great comic timing, stage presence and vocals), James Bradley Jr. (Spamalot’s Galahad and a bottle dancer from “Fiddler” both highlights), Kevin Coren (the cutest cat and feistiest flying monkey), Teresa Grosserode (lovely vocals, especially as Chita Rivera), Russ Kladko (a tenor to die for), Terese McGregor (a joy to watch whether playing Red Riding Hood or Rita Moreno), Sheilah Morrison (her Carol Channing brought down the house), Linda Sciacqua (a knockout as Ethel Merman), Michael Wilson (hilarious Phantom singing “Mucous of the Night) and Gina Yetner (incredible vocal range particularly as Idina spoofing “Defying Gravity”).
While dancing is not a skill most of the cast possesses, choreographer La Tonya Watts finds creative ways to move them around the Endeavor’s miniscule stage with entertaining results. And costume designer Marisa Castaldini makes sure the energetic cast looks great throughout.
As music director and keyboardist, the incredible Santiago Martinez, along with excellent stand-up bass player Brian Vandemark, keeps the show on a fast pace, playing a few additional bars here and there when one of the many costume changes takes a few seconds too long.
“Forbidden Broadway’s Greatest Hits” runs through Oct. 29 at Endeavor Hall. For tickets to this lighthearted evening of fun entertainment, go to https://www.claytontheatrecompany.com/.
Sally Hogarty is well known around the Bay Area as a newspaper columnist, theatre critic and working actress. She is the editor of the Orinda News. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org