With all its pompous celebrities and Tony Award-winning screenwriters and tear-jerking performances, Broadway takes itself way too seriously. It was only a matter of time before someone went Not Another Teen Movie on the sacrosanct institution and created a spoof.
We're grateful that hits such as In the Heights and Jersey Boys are making the trek down south this season. But we're even happier to welcome Forbidden Broadway, a musical parody that's been lovingly making fun of old and new popular Broadway shows for over two decades. It broke box office records at the Arsht Center when it debuted in 2008. It's back for a second run, incorporating recent shows such as Wicked and Mamma Mia! alongside oldies Phantom of the Opera and Chicago. Cultist spoke to Gina Kreiezmar, a North Miami Beach actress who has been touring the world with the production since 1992.
New Times: Tell us about the show.
Gina Kreiezmar: We take a [Broadway] show and kill it with kindness. The material that Gerard, our director/creator, writes for us is super. One of my favorites is "Feed the 'Burbs" (instead of "Feed the Birds") from Mary Poppins. The parody lyrics are so fantastic.
But what if you haven't seen the original shows?
You dont have to be an avid theatre-goer to love or understand our show. It is 90 minutes of comedy, and 40 shows.
What roles do you play?
There are only two women and two men in the show. I get to perform Barbara Streisand, Ethel Merman, Liza Minnelli, Mary Poppins, Annie, Grandma in In the Heights, Patti Lupone, and a few other parts.
That's a lot of characters.
I love this show. I have had the opportunity to play parts I would not be normally cast in on Broadway. Sometimes actors can get pigeon-holed into a certain "type" and that is all you have the opportunity to audition for.
How did you land the role on Forbidden Broadway?
I was very fond of Forbidden Broadway and did not have an agent to submit me for an audition but i wrote to the director and got my chance to sing for him... and the rest is history. I have been with the show since 1992! OYE!
Did you just say Oye? You're sooo from Miami. How did you get your start here?
From the time i can remember, I was singing or listening to music. My Mom and Dad gave me voice lessons while in high school and I sang for Bar Mitzvahs and weddings as a side job. I was cast in several Gerry Grant productions at the Marco Polo Hotel while studying for a degree in music from the University of Miami Music School. After I graduated, I auditioned and was chosen to be one of the 12 apprentices for a year program at BRITT - Burt Reynolds Institutes for Theatre Training where I got my union card and finally moved to New York City.
I have been with the New York show since 1992. It's on hiatus currently so luckily you will see many of the New York City cast in Miami. We have also performed the show in South Africa, Singapore, Japan, all over the USA, and most recently in concert halls for some of the best symphonies and philharmonics around the states!
Forbidden Broadway runs this Tuesday to December 26 at the Arsht Center's Carnival Studio Theater (1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami) Tickets cost $45 to $60. Visit arshtcenter.org.