This was a wow of a show.

Crisply defined in episodic numbers from long running Broadway shows. The sharply written lyrics panning the content and in some cases the major artists starring in the productions. Representations of Barbra Streisand, Lisa Minelli and Carol Channing were outstanding. 

The production was brilliant and hilarious. Directed and produced by Andrew Dobosz for Pride WA as part of Pride Week celebrations it was no surprise that the audience was largely familiar with the songs and vociferous in their appreciation.

Written and created by Gerard Alessandrini, the show was performed by some members of this cast Downstairs at the Maj in 2003. That they worked so seamlessly together and managed innumerable lightning-paced costume changes was quite incredible.

Displaying excellent vocal skills Elethea Santorelli, Peter Cumins, Rachel Monamy and Callum Neale, worked brilliantly as soloists and meshed flawlessly in the group harmonies.

There were satirical Sondheim numbers galore and older favourites like Fiddler on the Roof, West Side Story and CATS. Few were spared, and to add to the mix there was a throwback to a song from Rent, which I must have seen 20 years ago at least. 

The artists were spectacularly good. The pace was hectic and all the more fun for it. The costuming was lavish in detail, the choreography by Alan Blachford was simple but smart and mention must be made of the brilliant pianist Sammy McSweeney, who simply glued the show together. He moved from genre to genre of musical numbers with panache.

All in all a polished, satisfying evening of theatre which received a standing ovation.

Event details

Forbidden Broadway
Created and written by Gerard Alessandrini

Directed and Produced by Andrew Dobosz for Pride WA (Inc.) PrideFEST 2021

Venue: State Theatre Centre WA | Studio Underground
Dates: 16 – 20 November 2021
Bookings: (08) 6212 9292 | www.ptt.wa.gov.au

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Most read Perth reviews

The capacity audience at Downstairs at the Maj certainly got their money’s worth on Thursday night.


White’s ingenuous charm held the audience spellbound for a set lasting just over an hour.


This was a wow of a show.