Menier’s Forbidden Broadway transfers to Vaudeville with Christina Bianco in cast

Menier’s Forbidden Broadway

Damian Humbley in the Menier’s production of Forbidden Broadway which transfers to the Vaudeville Theatre in September. Picture: Roy Tan

Following a sold out and critically acclaimed run, the Menier Chocolate Factory’s production of Forbidden Broadway will transfer to the West End’s Vaudeville Theatre from 9 September-22 November, with press night on 15 September.

Joining the cast is YouTube sensation Christina Bianco who has played in Forbidden Broadway: Goes to Rehab in New York (Drama Desk nomination for Best Supporting Actress in a Musical) and will shortly be seen in Divallusion with Christina Bianco and Velma Celli at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. To date, her latest YouTube video of ‘Let It Go’ has received more than five million views.

The cast includes Anna-Jane Casey (Billy Elliot at the Victoria Palace, Spamalot at the Playhouse, Company at the Crucible, Sheffield and Sunday in the Park With George and the 2009 production of Forbidden Broadway at the Chocolate Factory); Damian Humbley (Charley Kringas in the Chocolate Factory’s Olivier Award-winning production of Merrily We Roll Along, Seymour in the UK tour of the Chocolate Factory’s production of Little Shop of Horrors, Company at the Crucible, Lend Me a Tenor – the Musical at the Gielgud Theatre and The Last Five Years at the Chocolate Factory); and Ben Lewis (Candide at the Chocolate Factory, Therese Raquin at the Finborough, the Australian productions of Love Never Dies, A Little Night Music, Spamalot and Priscilla – Queen of the Desert).

This updated version of Forbidden Broadway showcases some of the best productions from both Broadway and the West End, including The Book of Mormon, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Once, Matilda the Musical, Wicked, Miss Saigon, and brand new material added for the West End.

Menier Chocolate Factory artistic director David Babani said: “I am delighted and overwhelmed by the critical response and the speed at which tickets have sold out for Forbidden Broadway at the Menier Chocolate Factory.   I can’t think of a more fitting way to celebrate our tenth anniversary year than to transfer our wonderful production to the Vaudeville Theatre in the West End so that many more people will get to the opportunity to enjoy it!”

Forbidden Broadway has been an unstoppable force in theatre since 1982, when Gerard Alessandrini created the first edition that lampooned the Broadway shows and stars of the day. It has been a favourite among theatre lovers, as well as the Broadway stars themselves (Angela Lansbury, Kathleen Turner, Bernadette Peters, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Elaine Paige, Stephen Sondheim, Cameron Mackintosh and Hal Prince among others), who often stop by to laugh at themselves alongside the public.  

The show has won numerous awards in its history including the 2008 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Musical Revue, the Special Tony Honor for Excellence in the Theatre, six additional Drama Desk Awards, Outer Critics Circle, Drama League, Obie and Lucille Lortel Awards. Forbidden Broadway has received national and international notoriety, racking up over 9,000 performances in more than 200 US cities as well as engagements in London (including the Chocolate Factory in 2009), Tokyo, Singapore and Sydney.

Created and written by Gerard Alessandrini, the show has direction and choreography by Phillip George, musical supervision and direction by Joel Fram, design by Morgan Large, lighting design by Nick Richings and sound design by Gareth Owen.

Forbidden Broadway is presented by Chocolate Factory Productions Ltd, Thelma Holt Ltd, Tanya Link Productions and Glass Half Full/Just For Laughs Theatricals in association with John Freedson and Harriet Yellin.

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