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*Spamilton,* 3/29/17

Richard and I saw *Spamilton* at The Triad on 3/29/17. It's the newest production by Gerard Alessandrini and Forbidden Broadway. Alessandrini has been spoofing Broadway in off off Broadway shows since (wow) 1982. He takes show tunes and writes new words for them (a la Weird Al), so they poke fun at shows currently on Broadway (or better yet, shows that have recently closed). The results are invariably hilarious, and totally made for the inside-joke crowd of people who see a lot of Broadway musicals. Richard and I knew that we had to see *Spamilton,* since we're such rabid fans of *Hamilton,* which is the primary target of the show.

Probably about 2/3 to 3/4 of the show concerns itself with *Hamilton.* A lot of time was spent showing what a self-satisfied genius Lin-Manuel Miranda has become, and strangely enough, that never got old! My favorite number was a send up of Judy Garland's "You made me love you," only instead of a little girl confessing her love to Clark Gable, it was Miranda confessing his admiration for Stephen Sondheim. "Dear Mr. Sondheim, I am writing now to you..." It was the one number in the show that was funny but also touching.

Other highlights: a spoof of *Shuffle Along,* where a member of the ensemble said to the woman playing Audra MacDonald, "You're washed up! You haven't won a Tony in MONTHS!" I'm still laughing at that line. The Schuyler sisters number from *Hamilton* was performed by a woman singing the role of Angelica, who used hand puppets to represent Eliza and Peggy, and she perfectly mimicked the women who originated those roles.

The biggest laugh of the show was in the parody of Eliza's closing number, spelling out all the things that make the song so sad. It culminates with Eliza saying that she's going to open an orphanage - - an orphanage, the first private orphanage in New York City - - for orphans - - and one of the men in the ensemble came onstage dressed in full *Annie* regalia, the red dress and the curly red wig. How could we not have seen that coming, but we didn't, and we screamed with laughter.

The greatest performance was by long-standing Forbidden Broadway diva Christine Pedi. She played various women singing the refrain of the Beggar Woman from *Sweeney Todd,* but rather than singing "Alms, alms, for a desperate woman," she sang, "Tickets, I need *Hamilton* tickets!" First it was Bernadette Peters, then the inevitable Liza Minnelli (who was quickly joined by four fey backup dancers), and culminating in a visit from the divine Barbra Streisand. She did a send-up of the best song in *Hamilton,* but rather than singing, "I want to be in the room where it happens," she sang, "I want to be in the film when it happens." High-larious!

Here's Pedi doing the show-stopping number from *Dreamgirls.* As Joan Rivers, Bernadette Peters, Julie Andrews, Ethel Merman, Little Edie Beale, and others!

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