The strenuous success of Broadway juggernaut “Hamilton” now personification to sell-out crowds in Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, and shortly London has producers wondering how to tip it or during slightest gain on it. So, it is no consternation that Gerard Alessandrini, an impresario who has done his career spoofing low-pitched theater, grown a uncover that spoofs “Hamilton,” a creator Lin-Manuel Miranda, and Broadway musicals in general. Playing off-Broadway too, a uncover non-stop Sunday, Nov. 12, during a Kirk Douglas Theatre in a Los Angeles area.
The 80-minute (no intermission) uncover sets a satire intentions from a start with a pattern that pinches a “Hamilton” logo. They switched out a subtitle, “An American Musical,” for “An American Parody.”
Besides a logo, “Spamilton” contains many visible elements from “Hamilton,” like a habit and demeanour of many characters. It also tells a story of Miranda, a son of immigrants, perplexing to be a melodramatic revolutionary.
The uncover also facilities versions of many songs from “Hamilton” (as good as some obvious ditties from other musicals) with revamped lyrics. For example, a “Alexander Hamilton” uncover opener spoofs Miranda: “How does a whipper snapper, Student of rap, And a Latin, Trapped in a center of a … Manhattan prosaic ….” Then Wilkie Ferguson III, portraying Leslie Odom Jr., who won a Tony for personification Aaron Burr, adds “I’m a damn dope who slayed him.” “I’m a damn dope who played him” is a response from William Cooper Howell, who portrays Miranda/Hamilton.
Other songs parodied enclosed “My Shot.” In a travesty version, “His Shot,” Miranda proclaims, “I am not gonna let Broadway rot.” The impression after sings, “Oh, am we soundin’ too wise? My wordiness gets me vehement … we guarantee that we won’t compromise.” To that a expel member says, “Let’s get this man a Pulitzer Prize,” mixing a strange line “Let’s get this man in front of a crowd” with a tweak over a fact Miranda won a Pulitzer for a show.
In The Hype
Several numbers in a uncover skewer Miranda’s success. “In a Hype” is a not-so-subtle anxiety to a violent recognition he has achieved and his initial Tony-winning show, “In a Heights.” Instead of signing “History Has Its Eyes on You,” a “Spamilton” Miranda sing’s “Hollywood Has Its Eyes on Me.” That series goes on to make fun on his scoring “Moana” and starring in a stirring “Mary Poppins” sequel. The enterprise to be in “The Room Where It Happens” becomes “The Film When It Happens” here.
Besides Ferguson and Howell, a gifted garb effectively burlesque their Broadway counterparts:
- Zakiya Young is fabulous as Angelica Schuyler/Renée Elise Goldsberry. Angelica’s other siblings are played by palm puppets.
- John Devereaux replicates a huge-haired oddity of Daveed Diggs. Diggs is a charismatic actor who portrayed a Marquis de Lafayette and Thomas Jefferson on Broadway.
- Glenn Bassett plays King George and camps adult “You’ll Be Back” as “Straight Is Back.” In a song, he bemoans that “Straight is back/Soon you’ll see/Campy musicals went out with Glee.”
While a uncover is fun, it seems magisterial by all a non-“Hamilton” numbers and Broadway diva impersonations Alesssandrini added. There are references to or strain pieces from “West Side Story,” “Annie,” “Cats,” “Phantom of a Opera,” “Man of La Mancha,” “Wicked,” ”Sweeney Todd,” “A Chorus Line,” “Gypsy” and “The King and I.” There are brief impersonations of JLo, Beyonce, Gloria Estefan, Audra McDonald, Liza Minnelli, Barbra Streisand, and others. That is only a womanlike list!
The satire theme that works best here involves Stephen Sondheim. That Broadway composer and lyricist was famous for songs that are some-more formidable lyrically and melodically, quite as he career evolved. It seems like a healthy expansion from Sondheim’s smart wordplay to Miranda’s rapping. In a New York Times final month, Miranda called Sondheim “musical theater’s biggest lyricist.” In “Spamilton,” a Sondheim sendup comments on Miranda’s rap, “These are a rhymes that try men’s souls.”
The Odom/Burr impression also offers Miranda essay recommendation that plays on “Hamilton: lyrics. He tell him, “Smile More, Rhyme Less. Be terser in your verse, sir.”
“Spamilton and a spoofs of Lin-Manuel Miranda, “Hamilton,” and Broadway offer an interesting evening, give or take a few misfires. While not great, a uncover eventually toasts Miranda’s accomplishment. It also requires some believe of a “Hamilton” measure to suffer some of a parodies. “Spamilton” will be during a Center Theatre Group’s Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City, Calif., by Jan 7, 2018.
By Dyanne Weiss
Performance Nov. 12, 2017
Center Theatre Group
Photos by Craig Schwartz and © 2017. (top) L-R: Wilkie Ferguson III, John Devereaux, William Cooper Howell, Zakiya Young and Dedrick A. Bonner in a West Coast premiere of “Spamilton” during Center Theatre Group’s Kirk Douglas Theatre. (Middle) Wilkie Ferguson III. (Bottom) L-R: Wilkie Ferguson III, Zakiya Young and Dedrick A. Bonner . Created, created and destined by Gerard Alessandrini, “Spamilton” continues by Jan 7, 2018.