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Broadway gets the Sutter Street treatment in new musical

By: Don Chaddock, Telegraph Managing Editor
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For a rare moment on a Thursday night, after the cattle drive had passed through and revelers found their way home, Sutter Street was turned into a warped version of Broadway. Lights, glamor, song - and parody - invaded Sutter Street Theatre for “Forbidden Broadway.” Skewering popular show tunes ranging from productions like “Hairspray,” “Phantom of the Opera,” “Rent” and “Les Miserables,” the packed house roared with laughter throughout the two-hour show. Michael Coleman, Mark Ettensohn, Lauren Ettensohn and Emily Kelly display fantastic acting and vocal skills in these demanding roles. Frequent costume changes, styles of music and live piano accompaniment make for an interesting and entertaining evening. Usually I like to pick a favorite or a standout in a show, but this one is too difficult to choose. Coleman, who also directed, can morph into anyone from Mandy Patinkin (who I thought was great in “Sunday in the Park with George,” by the way) to a comic relief character pulled from the “Les Miserables” stage. Lauren Ettensohn is a wonder at physical comedy, turning herself into “one-note” Liza Minnelli to too-slow crooner Barbra Streisand or any other zany character she chooses, all seemingly with ease. Early this year, Kelly wowed me in “The Fanasticks” and once again she delivers in this new show. Kelly has great stage presence, carries herself well and has some pitch-perfect pipes. She's mesmerizing on the stage and our local theatrical scene is blessed to have her. Mark Ettenshohn is the picture-perfect leading man and often takes on such roles in this production. His singing is as rock-solid as his acting. The pianist tickled the ivory in such a way as the keep the pace of the show moving right along. I can’t picture the show without any of these fine actors - they all shine on stage and I think some more formal accolades could be in store for this group. * * * KNOW AND GO WHAT: ‘Forbidden Broadway,’ a parody of Broadway show tunes When: 7 p.m. Thursdays, 4 p.m. Saturdays, 7 p.m. Sundays through July 17 Where: Sutter Street Theatre, 717 Sutter St., Folsom Cost: Tickets are $23 for general, $21 for seniors/SARTA members and $15 for children 12 and younger Rating: 4 out of 5 stars