By Zachary Swasta 02/22/2019
Opening this week at the Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts is Spamilton: An American Parody.
The show is created, written and directed by Gerard Alessandrini and originally debuted off-Broadway at New York City’s Triad Theatre.
Alessandrini also created the satirical cabaret-style musical Forbidden Broadway.
As the title suggests, it is a parody of Lin Manuel-Miranda’s Hamilton. Spamilton tells the story of Manuel’s career when bringing Hamilton to the stage, and the impact it has had on Broadway culture. The show is done in the style of the original, utilizing its concepts and songs.
However, don’t assume it is the entire Hamilton show with “Weird-Al Yankovic” style lyrics or that it is a biopic of Lin Manuel-Miranda. While it does utilize satirical versions of Hamilton’s key songs, it also deviates and goes on to parody other Broadway shows such as The Book of Mormon and Chicago as well as figures like Bernadette Peters and Barbra Streisand.
It is, as Alessandrini states, “a glorious mash-up of theatre today”.
The musical consists of six actors, five men and only one woman. As the show goes on, the one woman becomes many as she takes the role of many women in the show– with the help of some puppet helpers, of course.
There is no intermission, so the show runs non-stop (as the Hamilton song goes), with a piano player performing the songs all the way through. The show plays with intense energy, several actors performing while doing many, many costume changes in an impressive amount of time.
It not only hits several marks from the original but Broadway musicals in general. Several parts of the show pay tribute to almost every Broadway spectacle you can imagine.
This combination of Manuel-Miranda’s work and other famous pieces discuss the topic of Hamilton’s success, while also comparing it to other Broadway successes.
If you are a fan of Hamilton, or even just someone who appreciates the art of the theatre, or Broadway musicals in general, this is a show you surely do not want to miss. You might not be able to afford to see the original Hamilton, but this is an equal experience to behold.
The show runs approximately 80 minutes with no intermission.