Even before last year’s Tony Awards, American audiences knew to expect multiple wins for Hamilton. As Broadway’s current sensation, it almost feels like other Broadway shows don’t live up to it! However, looking back at theatre history we see that sold out patterns like Hamilton have occurred before. In fact, there is an entire Off-Broadway show whose plot centers around the normalization of the Hamilton phenomenon. The production called Spamilton both praises and normalizes the phenomenon while appealing to well-versed musical theatre geeks everywhere.
The composer and playwright behind Spamilton is Forbidden Broadway creator, Gerard Alessandrini. Though his Off-Broadway career has been all about spoofs since 1988, Alessandrini has won a number of awards including an OBIE, a Lucille Lortel Award, a Drama League Award, and five Drama Desk Awards. Some other musical titles in his Off-Broadway series include Forbidden Broadway 2001: A Spoof Odyssey, Forbidden Broadway: A Rude Awakening , and Forbidden Broadway Strikes Back.
For a creator who has made his career on spoof musicals, Alessandrini is a pretty successful guy. Spamilton seems to be no exception since the New York Times gave it a pretty great review last September. One of the elements the Times Reviewer, Ben Brantley, mentions is the hype of Hamilton with the overall fame and popularity of former President Barack Obama. His attendance in its rise of fame and post as America’s first black president were staple elements of Hamilton. Alessandrini’s Spamilton has a scene where Barack and Michelle are listening to the Hamilton soundtrack before bed. Alessandrini mentions that JFK and Jackie O would listen to Camelot before bed since it was Jackie’s favorite musical during the JFK presidency and this scene was made as a mirror to that event.
This production is happening at Stage 72, formerly known at The Triad. It runs for 80 minutes with no intermission and if you sit in the orchestra, you need to order at least 2 drinks. If you like Broadway spoofs and drink minimums, head to 158 West 72nd Street before the show closes on April 30th!