If imitation is flattery, what are pun and parody?  Just ask Gerard Alessandrini who for three decades has been having fun spoofing the stars and the shows of the Great White Way with his wild and clever versions of “Forbidden Broadway.”

It’s a toast and a roast to the best and the not-so-great, the ones he loved and ones he didn’t, and you’ll have a wonderful time trying to decide which is which.  The Connecticut Cabaret Theatre in Berlin is offering this gem of a musical comedy weekends until Saturday, February 27 and it’s a tongue-in-cheek delight.

Kris McMurray, with musical direction by Rebecca Francis, puts his quartet of talented players- Matthew Collin Marrero, Bryna Kearney, Ian Galligan and Cindy Lesser- through their paces in this fast moving tribute to what makes Broadway unique.

No one is immune from Alessandrini’s poisoned pen, not the over-the-hill “Annie” who hasn’t had a hit in thirty years since she was the freckle-faced darling of ten and Carol Channing who probably should have said “good-bye” to Dolly Levi instead of still saying “hello.” Stellar shows like “Chicago” are lampooned ever so sweetly with numbers like “Glossy Fosse,” while “Into the Woods” takes a turn at the dictionary tree to become “Into the Words.”

“West Side Story” rivals Chita Riviera and Rita Moreno almost come to fisticuffs while “Les Miserables” spins out of control on its turntable stage.  Ethel Merman gets to take on “The Phantom of the Opera” and give him some well-deserved singing lessons, Barbra Streisand decides to sing everything her way and Liza Minnelli stays stuck on one note, her personal favorite.

Current hits like “Spamalot,” “Mamma Mia” and “Hairspray” are not immune, while Alessandrini doesn’t forget past triumphs like “Cats,” “Rent,” “Chorus Line” and “Fiddler on the Roof.”  An inspired “The Lion King” is treated to a royal “Circle of Mice” and Stephanie Layne deserves kudos for the dozens of innovative costumes.

For tickets ($30), call the CT Cabaret Theatre, 31-33 Webster Square Road, Berlin at 860-829-1248 or online at www.ctcabaret.com.  Bring along snacks or dinner to the 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday performances.  You can even buy delicious desserts on site.

Get ready for fun and laughter as the satire shines and the parody punctuates the inflated egos when “Forbidden Broadway” takes you on a roller coaster ride guaranteed to entertain.

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