47th Street Theater/The Puerto Rican Traveling Theater
Created by Gerard Alessandrini
Choreographed by Gerry McIntyre
Music Director: Richard Danley
Costume Design: Dustin Cross
Cast: Juwan Crawley, Chris Anthony Giles, Nicholas Alexander Rodriguez, Dan Rosales, Nora Schell
First Performance June 2, 2017
Opening June 19, 2017
Submit a review for Spamilton
While Spamilton is an entirely new creation from Alessandrini, it still boasts the familiar satirical humor of show tune parodies and Broadway raillery. No one on Broadway is safe in this uproarious production, making 47th Street Theater / The Puerto Rican Traveling Theater’s proximity to its ‘victims’ a perfect fit.
Ben Brantley – New York Times
Now Mr. Alessandrini — as writer, director and song mangler — has trained his unsparing eye on Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “Hamilton,” the rap-driven, trophy-laden portrait of the American founding fathers that has so dominated commercial theater of late that you could be excused for believing it was the only show in town. “Spamilton” emphasizes this point by recreating the climactic moment at the last Tony Awards ceremonies, when Barbra Streisand presented the statue for best musical. In this version, Ms. Streisand (reincarnated with blissfully buttery smoothness by the recent University of Michigan graduate Nora Schell, a name to watch) reads the nominees: “‘Hamilton,’ ‘Hamilton,’ ‘Yentl’ — oh, sorry — I mean ‘Hamilton’ and ‘Hamilton.’”
Linda Winer – Newsday
Welcome, “Spamilton.” It’s a terrific spoof that had to happen by the only artist we know with the theater understanding and the dark heart to be able to pull it off. Take the program cover, a silhouette of Hamilton thumbing his nose instead of the official outline of him pumping his arm in triumph. Instead of the hit’s laughable (come on, admit it) subtitle, “An American Musical,” the line now says, “An American Parody.”
Matthew Murray – Talkin’ Broadway
Maybe Hamilton’s effect on other shows is what others say it is (“Every Big Show has the right to be vapid,” sings Leslie Odom, Jr., as enacted by a pitch-perfect Chris Anthony Giles, as he assesses today’s general producing trends to a melody from Assassins), and maybe it’s not (the casts of Shuffle Along and American Psycho are none too happy about their jobs fates). And the chances are that, when the inevitable movie comes around, it won’t continue the stage property’s heralded starless inclusivity. (I won’t spoil this number, gloriously interpreted as “The Film When It Happens,” as it contains the evening’s richest lyrics and ideas, but its lampooning of the reactions of everyone from Odom to Barbra Streisand in the throes of Hollywood fever is worth the price of admission.)
Marilyn Stasio – Variety
Hip-hop, Broadway showtunes, Viennese waltzes — is there anything this guy can’t write ? No, not “Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda, but Gerard Alessandrini, whose ingenious parody “Spamilton” simultaneously salutes and sends up Miranda and his signature musical. Much is owed to the agile five-member cast of actor-singer-spoofers, but the big kudos go to “Forbidden Broadway” creator Alessandrini, who applies his formidable chops to this affectionate cartoon of all things Hamiltonian.
David Cote – Timeout NY
The bulk of the show is carried by a jaw-dropping ensemble in multiple roles: Chris Anthony Giles as a scheming and cynical Leslie Odom Jr; Nicholas Edwards baring his chest and a hundred-watt smile as a raffish Daveed Diggs; Juwan Crawley, who has a dulcet choirboy tenor; and the formidable Nora Schell as all the ladies, juggling the Schuyler sisters with two hand puppets. They drive the hilarity all 80 minutes; the laughs are huge and nonstop, and let’s face it: Spamilton may be the closest you get to Hamilton without going broke or waiting for years.
Frank Scheck – The Hollywood Reporter
Spamilton is not quite up to the level of Alessandrini’s best work. Clearly enamored of the show he’s spoofing, he’s pulled his punches here. Many of the barbs are far less pointed than usual, more often inducing smiles than guffaws. It also could be argued that the evening would be more effective if it stuck more closely to its main subject rather than including familiar-feeling gags about the likes of Stephen Sondheim, Audra McDonald and Barbra Streisand. But it’s nonetheless a fast-paced and funny 75 minutes, and hey, you can even get tickets for it.
Matt Windman – AM New York
“Spamilton” also tends to be cute instead of funny, which may be due to Alessandrini’s obvious affection for “Hamilton.” “Forbidden Broadway,” at its best, could be downright merciless.
David Finkle – Huffington Post
Since this is Alessndrini, you eager spoof-the-tuner fans, there are some worthy gems along the nose-thumbing way, and since this is Alessandrini after several decades of his Gerard-foolery, the results are mixed. There may even be a new wrinkle in the irony-crazed fellow’s approach: a crucially misplaced satirical dig, about which more later.