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Now in Studio 3: Forbidden Broadway's Greatest Hits!

May 30, 2009

(l-r) Marcus Stevens, Jennie Elsenhower, Sonny Leo and Ellie Mooney put a new spin on some of your favorite shows! (photo: Sara Allen).

PHILADELPHIA, PA: The Walnut Street Theatre's 2008-2009 Independence Studio on 3 season reaches its unforgettable finale with Forbidden Broadway's Greatest Hits. Written by Gerard Alessandrini and directed by Barrymore Award-winner Bruce Lumpkin, Forbidden Broadway's Greatest Hits starts on May 5, opens on May 7 and closes June 28 on the Walnut's Independence Studio on 3 stage.

Forbidden Broadway's Greatest Hits is a lovingly tongue-in-cheek tribute to some of the biggest shows to ever grace the "Great White Way". Presented as a musical revue, the production offers amazingly funny takes on some of your favorite shows. Annie, West Side Story, Les Misérables, Rent, Fiddler on the Roof and Mamma Mia! are just a few of the shows hilariously skewered by a wonderful cast consisting of Jennie Eisenhower, Sonny Leo, Ellie Mooney and Marcus Stevens. No show is safe, and there's nothing standard about this Broadway revue!

Gerard Alessandrini's Forbidden Broadway series has become nothing short of an Off-Broadway institution. Since its first performance in 1982, Forbidden Broadway has played thousands of shows and recorded eight separate cast albums. Always remaining fresh, the production would constantly update itself to lampoon newer entries into the Broadway canon. In 2006, the show was honored with a special Tony Award for Excellence in Theatre. The final incarnation, Forbidden Broadway Goes to Rehab, ended its run at the 47th Street Theatre in New York on March 1, 2009.

The cast of Forbidden Broadway's Greatest Hits consists of four performers with enough talent and energy to knock you right out of your seat. Best Supporting Actress Barrymore Award-winner Jennie Eisenhower (Ata) has been seen all over the Philadelphia area, performing at the Arden, Wilma, BRT and People's Light among others. Jennie was recently seen in the Walnut's Studio 3 production of Jane Martin's Criminal Hearts. Sonny Leo is a multi-talented actor, dancer and musician from Wilmington, DE. He has showcased all of these previously on the Walnut mainstage, including this season's State Fair and the 2006 production of 42nd Street. Ellie Mooney's comedic skill and vocal abilities will also be familiar to Walnut audiences. Ellie's previous credits here include Beauty and the Beast and Studio 3's The Thing About Men, among others. Rounding out the cast is Marcus Stevens, a newcomer to the Walnut. Marcus has performed previously with numerous companies in the Pittsburgh area, and is a recipient of the Richard Rodgers Award for Musical Theatre for his musical, Red.

At the helm of Forbidden Broadway's Greatest Hits is Director Bruce Lumpkin. Bruce has directed numerous Mainstage productions, including Man of La Mancha, Cabaret, Evita, Grand Hotel, La Vie En Bleu, Godspell and Rodgers and Hammerstein's Carousel among others. He is no stranger to Studio 3 however, having directed this season's world premiere hit production of O Captain, My Captain: Whitman's Lincoln. He is joined in this endeavor by choreographer Michelle Gaudette, Music Director Gina Giachero, Set Designer Robert Kramer, Costume Designer Colleen Grady, Lighting Designer Adam Macks.

Season sponsors for the 2008-2009 Independence Studio on 3 Season are The Independence Foundation and Macy's East. Media season sponsors are, Philadelphia Weekly and WRTI Radio.