By Jackson Riley
It seems that parody musicals are "in" - at least for the moment. For the past several months, Chicago has been home to not one, but TWO separate musical Game of Thrones parodies. The creators of one of those, Baby Wants Candy, recently announced that their parody of the biggest musical in years would open on January 20th, titled Shamilton. For the past two years, The Other Theater Company has dominated the holiday season with their hilarious Barney the Elf (already slated to return this year for a third run), and the writers of that production are prepping a musical parody of Stranger Things set to open at the Greenhouse Theater Center this March.
Obviously, there's a market for this type of accessible entertainment. Which is why the Off-Broadway proudction of Spamilton is headed to the Windy City. “Spamilton,” the critically acclaimed off-Broadway parody of Broadway smash “Hamilton,” created by Gerard Alessandrini, the mastermind behind "Forbidden Broadway," announced today that the show will open its first production outside New York this spring for a strictly limited 12-week engagement. The Chicago run begins performances Friday, March 3, 2017 at the Royal George Theatre’s Cabaret/Studio Theatre (1641 N. Halsted) and runs through Monday, May 29 (Press Night is set forMarch 9). The production is in discussions for additional productions in Los Angeles, London, and a U.S. National Tour for 2017.
“‘Hamilton’ opened my eyes to a world of brand new comic possibilities, and inspired me more than anything has in many long years,” said “Spamilton” and “Forbidden Broadway” Creator Gerard Alessandrini. “We have been delighted that New York audiences welcomed us with open arms, and are thrilled that we will be opening our next production in the Windy City. The rest of the country need not worry, as we hope to welcome them to our ‘room where it happens’.”
“Spamilton,” which was initially scheduled as an exclusive 18-performance engagement, has extended three times off-Broadway and is now playing its fifth smash month of an open engagement at the Triad (158 West 72nd Street). The New York production earned rave reviews across-the-board, with Ben Brantley of the New York Times calling it “smart, silly and convulsively funny!” and Lin-Manuel Miranda exclaiming “I laughed my brains out!”
“Spamilton” celebrates, roasts and eviscerates the Broadway blockbuster with a cast of five. In addition to Alessandrini, the creative team includes Gerry McIntyre(Choreography), Dustin Cross (Costume Design), Fred Barton (Musical Director), andRichard Danley and Fred Barton (Musical Arrangements).
“Spamilton” is produced in Chicago by John Freedson, David Zippel, Gerard Alessandrini, Margaret Cotter and Liberty Theatres, and in association with JAM Theatricals.
“Spamilton” in Chicago will play the following performance schedule: Tuesdays through Fridays at 7:30 p.m., Saturdays at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. and 5 p.m.
Tickets for “Spamilton” start at $59. Premium seats ($89 - $99) are also available. To purchase tickets, please visit TheRoyalGeorgeTheatre.com or call 312.988.9000.
Acclaim for “Spamilton:”
“I laughed my brains out!”
“Smart, silly and convulsively funny!”
-Ben Brantley, The New York Times (Critics’ Pick)
"The next best thing to seeing 'Hamilton.'"
-New York Post
“Comic genius! It’s truly mind-blowing. There simply aren’t enough words to describe the virtuosity that is “Spamilton.’
-Roma Torre, NY1
“The laughs are huge and nonstop! Even if you haven’t seen “Hamilton,” you’ll get the jokes, which are pretty damn funny.”
-David Cote, Time Out New York (Best of 2016 – Honorable Mention)
“’Spamilton’ is so infectiously funny that it could easily run as long as its inspiration!”
-Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter
“You don’t have to see ‘Hamilton’ to have side-splitting fun at ‘Spamilton.’" All that is required is that you love Broadway.”
-The Huffington Post
For more information, visit Spamilton.com.
The Hawk was a common name for the cold, winter wind in Chicago, possibly even predating "the Windy City." Additionally, a hawk can see up to eight times more clearly than the human eye.