Ames Community Theater is very proud to announce its 300th show, “Forbidden Broadway Greatest Hits: Vol. 1.” which opens on Thursday, Nov. 16.


“‘Forbidden Broadway’ is a musical review of Broadway hits that have been rewritten to give the audience the fractured, funny, back-stage side of Broadway theater,” said Stan Rabe, of ACTORS. “Audiences will laugh with and laugh at the cast while they spoof the best of 35 years of Broadway.”


Originally conceived, written and directed by Gerard Alessandrini, “Forbidden Broadway” was recognized with the 2006 Tony Honor for Excellence. Opening in New York in January 1982, “Forbidden Broadway” has been rewritten more than a dozen times in order to include Broadway’s more current hit shows. The various editions of Forbidden Broadway have had more than 9,000 performances in New York, Los Angeles, London, Tokyo, Singapore, and Adelaide. Now, ACTORS is bringing it to Ames.


The ACTORS production brings together some of the author’s favorite moments going back to the earliest shows on Broadway. “Chicago,” “Annie,” “Wicked,” “Mama Mia” and “Phantom of the Opera” are among the shows in the spotlight. There are special appearances by Carole Channing, Liza Minelli, Barbara Streisand, Stephen Sondheim and others.


Stage direction is in the capable hands of Lynn Lloyd, who has been directing at ACTORS for more than 30 years and is credited with directing several big musicals at ACTORS including “Annie,” “Shrek” and “They’re Playing Our Song.”


Bryan Willer is the music director. This is his fourth show at ACTORS and his second as music director; he thrilled audiences as Shrek in 2015.


“The original off-Broadway production was written for four performers,” Rabe said “Producers Pam McPeak and Lynn McElrath felt that the talent of the people who auditioned was so amazing that they wanted to include as many actors as possible.”


As a result, directors Lynn Lloyd and Bryan Willer expanded the cast to 20 in order to share the fun. Assistant director, Kathy Norris, said that if people in the audience had not seen the original shows or famous stars, the music and the re-creations would still be hysterical.


“I bought a cassette tape of an unknown show called ‘Forbidden Broadway’ in the 1980s. The music continues to make me laugh each time I hear it,” said Lloyd.


The ensemble cast includes Judy Brown, Art Currier, Jana Egan, Tim Gleason, Bill Helms, Tyler Hoenig, Clayton Johnson, Oliva Jones, Laura Jordan, Jane Kennedy-Funk, Andrew Lloyd, Josh McCauley, Marla Miller, Mike Miller, Julie Minot, Susan Norris, Stan Rabe, Christine Shafer, Phyllis Schrag, Ben Smith, Davis VandeSteeg, Kris VerSteegt and Chelsea Wall.


“Forbidden Broadway Greatest Hits: Vol. 1” opens Thursday, Nov. 16, at 7:30 p.m. Opening night hors d’oeuvres will be provided by the Sports Page. “The Thursday performance has been added due to the excitement about the show,” Rabe said.


Additional performances are Nov. 17, 18, 24 and 25 at 7:30 p.m. and Nov. 26 at 2 p.m.


“Thanksgiving weekend performances have been scheduled so you can bring your family and friends to see this family-friendly show,” Rabe said. “If you are a lover of all things musical and enjoy a good parody, this is the show for you!”


Tickets can be purchased online at ACTORSinc.org or at Ali Cakes in downtown Ames. First Point members may contact Stacy at First National Bank for tickets.