BWW Review: Raise A Glass And Cheer For SPAMILTON
In the program note to SPAMILTON: AN AMERICAN PARODY, Gerard Alessandrini (Forbidden Broadway) cops to his send-up of HAMILTON's creator Lin-Manual Miranda (and a slew of Broadway shows and celebs) as "a figment of my twisted imagination." After the show's 2016 premiere at New York's Triad, Miranda tweeted "I laughed my brains out."
The evidence of that shared expression of mad headiness abounds on the stage of The Phoenix Theatre Company's Hormel Theatre as a cast of dynamos, accompanied by the amazing Curtis Reynolds on piano, tears through Alessandrini's imaginative and crisp lyrics.
The show is a rush of songs that first chronicle (i.e., tease at) Miranda's aspirations to transcend his success with IN THE HEIGHTS and to transform theatre (I'm Not Gonna Let Broadway Rot, presuming righteously that the Great White Way needed a revolution).
The focus shifts gears to poke at the business of show. The titles tell the targets: Dolly and the Chocolate Factory, The Lion King and I, Avenue Crucible, Book of No More Mormons. The list of lampooned stars is a sampling of Broadway's legendary who's who of leading ladies ~ Liza Minnelli, Bernadette Peters, Barbra Streisand. Stephen Sondheim, Miranda's apparent idol, takes some delicious licks.
SPAMILTON is not without a bit of sarcastic commentary. King George III (the perky and uproarious Brandon Kinley) proclaims that Miranda has upended the musical paradigm ~ "Remember how musical theater was clawingly gay till the public got mad. Now Hamilton's new rearrangement has changed the fad. Straight is Back. But, there's also the reality check about the fate of Broadway performers when hits go to screen ~ Not gonna be in the film when it happens.
The magic and energy of this show is the product of superior turns by Chuckie Benson, Paloma D'Auria (absolutely shining in her versatility as the Leading Ladies), Adrian Lopez, Dominic Pecikonis, and Datus Puryear ~ each, except for Miranda look-alike Lopez, playing multiple roles.
I loved every moment of this show. It's an exhilarating demonstration of exceptional talent and remarkable creativity and a steady cannonade of laughs.
SPAMILTON runs through August 11th in The Phoenix Theatre Company's Hormel Theatre.
Photo credit to Roger Mastroianni
The Phoenix Theatre Company ~ www.phoenixtheatre.com ~ 1825 N. Central Avenue, Phoenix ~ Box office: 602-254-2151