Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Broadway's famous get lampooned in Eight O'Clock Theatre spoof

Amy Dobbert alternately plays Liza Minnelli, Carol Channing and Barbra Streisand, with Emi Stefanov at the piano.

JIM DAMASKE | Times

Amy Dobbert alternately plays Liza Minnelli, Carol Channing and Barbra Streisand, with Emi Stefanov at the piano.

LARGO

Carol Channing's giant smile was her trademark.

Barbra Streisand is known for her dramatic stage presence and accent.

And Liza Minnelli? "Liza is one long, run-on sentence that doesn't stop,'' joked Amy Dobbert.

Dobbert, 33, plays all three of those actors in Eight O'Clock Theatre's funny spoof of Broadway icons, Forbidden Broadway's Greatest Hits, at the Largo Cultural Center.

Actor Sadra Bostick portrays Ethel Merman.

"For Ethel Merman, it's all in the arms," said Bostick, who by day is a curriculum specialist for Pinellas County schools. "She kept her arms a certain way — stiff. So, I concentrate on that, and I was in Annie Get Your Gun a few years ago, so I can easily call up her singing in my head.''

Dobbert and Bostick are joined by Jonathan Pouliot and Joey Sarlo in portraying a host of Broadway's most recognizable actors.

The original version of Forbidden Broadway was created by Gerard Alessandrini in 1982 as an after-hours supper club act in Manhattan. In the last three decades, he has added dozens of versions, including parodies of Broadway's newer shows.

The Greatest Hits version is a mix of old and new, with vintage bits for shows like Chicago, Fiddler on the Roof and West Side Story to go along with sendups of more recent shows like Wicked, Les Misérables and Mamma Mia!

The director of Eight O'Clock's production is James Grenelle, whose directing credits include Nunsense II, The Taffetas, The Drowsy Chaperone and Forever Plaid. Over the years, he has seen Forbidden Broadway in New York four times.

"Seeing it several times has made me fully understand that in order to imitate someone correctly, you have to have a love and respect for them. That way it won't come across meanspirited,'' said Grenelle, 33.

"And I also tell the actors in a parody to take the mannerisms of the person and multiply them by 10,'' he said.

Although it's only a cast of four, plus a piano player (music director Emi Stefanov, whose grand piano is the centerpiece on a dimly lit stage), there are about 30 costume changes. Actors also go through about a dozen wigs — each.

"For me, it's 13 different wigs,'' said Bostick, 43. "The costume changes themselves are well choreographed. Each actor has their own dresser for this show to keep things moving.''

The fast pace seems to add to the humor, Bostick says. "It's typical in theater to see a few funny roles in a show, but rarely is there a show like this where everyone is assigned to make people laugh.''

Piper Castillo can be reached at pcastillo@tampabay.com or (727) 445-4163.

IF YOU GO

Forbidden Broadway's Greatest Hits

Eight O'Clock Theatre presents the show May 9-12 and May 18-19 at the Largo Cultural Center, 105 Central Park Drive. Times are 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $25.50, $12.50 for students (19 and under), $23 for groups of 10 or more, plus city handling charge of $3.50. Call the box office at (727) 587-6793.

Broadway's famous get lampooned in Eight O'Clock Theatre spoof 05/04/13 [Last modified: Friday, May 3, 2013 5:10pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Federal study says humans harmed by dispersant used during Deepwater Horizon

    Water

    A first-of-its-kind scientific study has determined that the dispersant BP sprayed at the oil gushing from the Deepwater Horizon rig in 2010 harmed human health.

  2. Across Tampa Bay, local commercial banks and credit unions appear healthy

    Banking

    In another sign of economic vitality, Florida's home-grown banking industry demonstrated strong bench strength in the latest quarterly analysis by Bauer Financial. The vast majority of commercial banks with headquarters in Florida received five "stars" from Bauer, which is the highest ranking of health on its 0-to-5 …

    Several years ago, First Home Bank in Seminole faced regulators breathing down its neck for inaedquate controls and financial weakness. Under CEO 
Anthony N. Leo, the bank has rebounded. It received a top-rated "5" star rating from Bauer Financial in the latest quarter. Most area banks are doing better these days. [SCOTT KEELER      |     TIMES]
  3. Two linemen lose their wedding rings in Tampa Bay. So far one has been found and returned.

    Human Interest

    Two linemen who spent days restoring power in the Tampa Bay area had the same unfortunate mishap: They lost their wedding rings.

    Facebook helped Michael White find the wedding ring he lost while helping restore power in Tampa Bay.
  4. Need is now for new mental health center at Bay Pines, veterans say

    Veterans

    ST. PETERSBURG — Veteran Ellsworth "Tony" Williams says the Bay Pines VA Healthcare System's new mental health center will help fill an immediate need.

    The new mental health center at the Bay Pines VA Healthcare System stands four stories tall and was built at a cost of $92 million. It will centralize services that before were scattered. [HOWARD ALTMAN   |   Staff]
  5. GOP health bill all but dead; McCain again deals the blow

    National

    WASHINGTON — Sen. John McCain declared his opposition Friday to the GOP's last-ditch effort to repeal and replace "Obamacare," dealing a likely death blow to the legislation and, perhaps, to the Republican Party's years of vows to kill the program.

    Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington in July.  McCain says he won't vote for the Republican bill repealing the Obama health care law. His statement likely deals a fatal blow to the last-gasp GOP measure in a Senate showdown expected next week. [Associated Press]