By Randi Bjornstad

Forbidden Broadway has been around for a long time — since 1982 — offering audiences a parody of some of Broadway’s most famous and memorable musical theater songs.

According to Wikipedia, the very first version opened  Jan. 15, 1982, at Palsson’s Supper Club in New York City, and it went on for more than 2,300 performances. The originator of the idea was Gerard Alessandrini, who is a playwright, director, and performer in his own right. But his real claim to fame is the spoofing of Broadway songs that he came up with in his late 20s — he’s now 68 — and which has earned him more fame through the decades than most of his other credits.

In fact, he has rewritten the revue more than a dozen times through the years in order to offer parodies of additional worthy shows as they have come along. Forbidden Broadway has been performed hundreds of times in the United States, as well as internationally in theaters as far-flung as London, Singapore, Tokyo, and Sydney.

Now it comes to the stage at Actors Cabaret in downtown Eugene, and here’s what Jim Roberts, co-founder along with his partner, Joe Zingo, has to say about it:

Welcome to 2022! We’ve decided to begin this year laughing. Laughing at how Covid tricked us again just after our successful reopening with ELF! We’re grateful that we can be flexible enough to make the needed adjustments to our schedule in order to keep our volunteers, patrons and staff safe.

After another pause, it looks like the infection rates are going down, so we’re going up!  After all, aside from getting vaxxed, laughter is the best medicine! FORBIDDEN BROADWAY is just the ticket!

Just what is FORBIDDEN BROADWAY? A musical revue that celebrates and skewers all we love about Broadway! Nothing is left unscathed; after a performance of FORBIDDEN BROADWAY you’ll never think of your favorite shows in the same way again! Love “Les Miz?” (You know, that three hours long show where everybody dies). Once you hear “On My Phone” you won’t be able to stop laughing.  Crazy about Sondheim? Check out “Into The Words.” And lets just say that Carol Channing, Ethel Merman and Mandy Patinkin, all have certain vocal characteristics that most love, some hate and all will find laugh out loud funny when seen through the eyes of the FORBIDDEN BROADWAY crew! Join Actors Cabaret for an evening (or afternoon) of musical hilarity that can only be found at FORBIDDEN BROADWAY!

Roberts describes Forbidden Broadway as “funny, clever, and irreverent” and says it will “reawaken your inner desire to applaud, guffaw, giggle, and laugh out loud with other people. It will be fun — remember fun?”

The show will run for only eight performances, from Friday, Feb. 25 to Saturday, March 12. Tickets are available by only telephone and charged to a credit card by calling 541-683-4368 — the box office continues to be closed.

Five performers make up the cast, including Brent Anderson, Delaine Burns, Colin Gray, Hillary Humphreys, and Cody Mendonca. Joe Zingo is in charge of costumes, sets, lights, and stage direction.

Then, of course, there’s the Covid-related protocol, as set forth by Roberts:

Masks will be required in the theater at all times and proof of vaccination will be required before entering the theater. This includes all vaccine-eligible children. Proof can be your vaccination card, or a photo of your card with photo ID.

We’ve upgraded our ventilation system and added hand sanitizing stations throughout the theater. Although we will not be filling the theater, we do anticipate good sized audiences with people seated next to each other. We ask that if you aren’t feeling well that you stay home for the safety of audience members and our volunteer staff.

Forbidden Broadway at Actors Cabaret of Eugene

When: 7:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, Feb. 25 and 26, and March 4, 5, 11, and 12; matinees at 2 p.m. on Sundays, Feb. 27 and March 6; doors open 30 minutes before each performance.

Where: Actors Cabaret of Eugene, 996 Willamette St., Eugene

Tickets: $25; available only by telephone at 541-683-4368 with payment by credit card, from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays

Information: Email; telephone 541-682-4368; online at

Additional detail: Unlike most Actors Cabaret shows, there will not be dinner or brunch service at the Forbidden Broadway performances.