Review: ‘Spamilton’ at 47th Street Theatre

By Jonathan Spira on 16 August 2017
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Unlike its not quite homophone, “Hamilton,” the spoof “Spamilton” doesn’t stand still. Not only did the show, which opened at the Triad in the Upper West Side last summer, recently move a block away from the Richard Rodgers Theater that “Hamilton” calls home, but it regularly updates its own material, making it fun to revisit.

Now at the 199-seat 47th Street Theatre, also known as the Puerto Rican Traveling Theatre, “Spamilton” is not only not giving up its shot but there’s much more room in the house where it happens as the Triad only could accommodate 130 theatergoers. In addition, productions of “Spamilton” are popping up around the country including Chicago and, soon, in Los Angeles.

The original production won plaudits from “Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda, who attended twice and tweeted about the experience.

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“I laughed my brains out,” he said, calling Dan Rosales, the actor who plays Miranda, a “talented young man.”

While some audience members might be forgiven if they thought they got a deal on “Hamilton” tickets, most have an idea why they are there.

Everything we liked about the original production is there and more, including an impressive Mr. Morales as Miranda singing “I’m not gonna let Broadway rot” in a spoof of “I am not giving up my shot!”

“I am not going to let Broadway rot!
I am not going to let Broadway rot!
Hey yo, I’m just like a beaver
A young overachiever
And I love being a hot big shot!”

This includes two of the three Schuyler sisters as “Avenue Q”-style hand puppets, Chris Anthony Giles brilliantly portraying Leslie Odom Jr. playing Aaron Burr, and “guest diva” Dorothy Kiara assuming the identity of Barbra Streisand reading off the nominees for best musical at the 2016 Tony Awards ceremony, “‘Hamilton,’ ‘Hamilton,’ ‘Yentl’ – oh, sorry – I mean ‘Hamilton’ and ‘Hamilton.’” Theatergoers still receive a copy of Playbill, with a silhouette of Hamilton thumbing his nose, not raising his arm in triumph.

The show’s new home, the Puerto Rican Traveling Theatre, was founded by Miriam Colón, the rather formidable actress whose mission was to bring bilingual theater to New York City, is an appropriate venue for “Spamilton,” given that Miranda’s parents are from Puerto Rico. A display discretely provides a translation into Spanish, making the production even more accessible.

As I wrote in my review of the original production, the cast of “Spamilton” is so good that its participants could rightly lay claim to their characters’ roles in the actual Broadway production. Whether you are among the millions who can’t get “Hamilton” tickets or the tens of thousands who have already seen that show on West 46th Street, get in on the fun while you can.

THE DETAILS

Spamilton
47th Street Theatre
304 W 47th Street
New York, N.Y. 10036
Runtime: 1 hour and 10 minutes
www.spamilton.com

(Photos: Accura Media Group)

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