‘Forbidden NYU’ uses theater, comedy to mock college life, university tropesPosted on October 17, 2013 | by Nathan Ho
“NYU. You love it. Now mock it.” This is the mantra of the annual “Forbidden NYU” which starts its latest round of performances on Friday, Oct. 18.
“Forbidden NYU” is a musical parody hosted by the College of Arts and Science Theater troupe, reworking popular Broadway musical numbers to reflect qualities of NYU that students cannot live with or without.
The performance has been a CAST production for 14 years, when “FNYU” first appeared as a series of one-act plays. This year, “FNYU” is directed by Steinhardt juniors Stephen Morrash and Torrence Browne.
For this year’s incarnation, “FNYU” presents the Extreme Makeover Edition of 2013. Several songs from previous productions have been rewritten or cut, and eight new songs have been added to this year’s production.
“We really pushed to re-imagine parts of the show and refresh it as a whole with new songs,” Morrash said. “The cast is incredibly talented and they have all been hard at work for the last two months.”
The satirical format of “FNYU” is inspired by the original Off-Broadway revue called “Forbidden Broadway.” By applying different lyrics and choreography, “FNYU” messes with the content of hit Broadway classics to target NYU tropes, such as the imbalanced gender ratio, the enormous LGBTQ presence, the stereotypes of the different colleges, and the cold atmosphere of New York City.
“‘FNYU’ is a show written by NYU students for NYU students. It’s something everyone at this school can relate to and laugh at,” Browne said.
Students began preparing for the show during the first week of classes, when the directors hos-ted auditions. Ensemble member and Tisch sophomore Olivia Daniels said that auditions consisted of a series of impromptu exercises, vocal testing and a quick dance number.
The group has been working to memorize lines, choreography and songs since then, including six new songs unique to the 2013 performances.
The cast held rehearsals for several days a week throughout September and have been holding daily rehearsals for the past two weeks.
One of the songs performed is “Seasons of Loans” written by NYU alumnus Seth Blinder. The song is a parody of “Seasons of Love” from Broadway classic “Rent.”
The ‘FNYU’ ensemble laments over the “two hundred sixty-five thousand six hundred dollars” in student loans many NYU students will have to pay in the future, sarcastically hinting that education is simply paying to have “the time of our lives” taken away from students. The show’s cynical take on NYU and the hilarious combination of its lyrics and choreography creates a style of comedy that is easy to follow.
Forbidden NYU 2013 will have three showings — 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 18 at C95 in the Global Center, 8:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 19 and 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 20, both at the fourth floor auditorium of the Kimmel Center for University Life.
*A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that “Forbidden NYU” has been a CAST production since 2008, when it began 14 years ago. Also, “Season of Loans” is not one of the six new songs. WSN regrets these errors.
A version of this article appeared in the Thursday, Oct. 17 print edition. Nathan Ho is a contributing writer. Email him at email@example.com.