The Triad in NYC Presents "Spamilton" - Will's New York Nite Life
"Spamilton" at The Triad (Stage 72)
The Triad (Stage 72)
158 West 72nd Street, 212-279-4200
The show is ongoing, but will switch to the 47th Street Theater after June 1.
As a satirist, Gerard Alessandrini, who created, wrote and directed this highly entertaining 80-minute show, is every bit as ambitious as Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda. Where Mr. Miranda wants to re-enact the birth of the American nation with a new kind of show music that draws heavily on rap and hip-hop, Mr. Alessandrini aims to savage not only Broadway’s biggest hit of the decade but the entire current state of the musical theater – and much of its history. Spamilton is essentially the latest edition of Mr. Alessandrini’s long-running Forbidden Broadway series of satirical revues – an ongoing tradition that is perhaps as venerable as many of the shows he makes fun of. So we not only get a largely African American and Hispanic cast (led by a game Dan Rosales and Juwan Crawley and an outstanding soprano in Lauren Villegas) in white pants, black boots, and 18th century powdered wigs, but that’s only the beginning. Along the way there are also extended shots at Stephen Sondheim, Liza Minnelli (courtesy Forbidden veteran and ace impressionist Christine Pedi), and mash-ups like American Psycho in Paris and The Lion King and I. (I’m surprised they left out, Once Upon This Mattress.) Yet he doesn’t throw away any of these shots. At his best, Mr. Alessandrini creates musical satire on the level of Spike Jones, Mickey Katz, or the major pop music subversive of our own time, Richard Cheese, and Spamilton, both as a live show and a cast album, is the kind of satire one can enjoy repeatedly.
Author: Will Friedwald
Will Friedwald writes about music and popular culture for THE WALL STREET JOURNAL & VANITY FAIR, and reviews current shows for THE OBSERVER and THE CITIVIEW NEW YORK. He also is the author of eight books including the award-winning A BIOGRAPHICAL GUIDE TO THE GREAT JAZZ AND POP SINGERS, SINATRA: THE SONG IS YOU, STARDUST MELODIES, TONY BENNETT: THE GOOD LIFE, LOONEY TUNES & MERRIE MELODIES, and JAZZ SINGING. He has written over 600 liner notes for compact discs, received ten Grammy nominations, and appears frequently on television and other documentaries. He is also a consultant and curator for Apple Music.
SINATRA: THE SONG IS YOU - NEW REVISED EDITION (Chicago Review Press, May 2018)