'Forbidden Broadway"'s Gerard Alessandrini To Talk 'Spamilton" at Mark Twain House
Having “Hamilton” withdrawal? How about some “Spamilton” then, the off-Broadway hit parody of the blockbuster musical?
But how do you spoof the biggest hit in decades — as well as some of the best — and worst — of Broadway shows and stars over the past four decades?
“Spamilton”’s creator — Gerard Alessandrini — will talk about the art of parody, Lin Manual Miranda and the phenomenon of “Hamilton” and his long-running series of “Forbidden Broadway” revues in a 7 p.m. talk on Thursday, Aug. 15 at the Mark Twain House and Museum, 351 Farmington Ave. in Hartford.
Alessandrini will be “in conversation with…” Variety critic and Connecticut arts writer Frank Rizzo, as part of the Mark Twain House’s “A Little Harmless Fun” series of lively on-stage talks. Previous conversations featured Broadway animal trainer Bill Berloni (and star dog Bowdie), “Come From Away” producer Sue Frost, cookbook author Dorie Greenspan and “The Simpsons” writer-producer Mike Reiss.
Tickets are $10 and are available at www.twainhouse.com or directly at TWAINHOIUSE
“Spamilton,” which is now on a nationwide tour, will play West Hartford’s Playhouse on Park for a 3 1/2-week run Aug. 14 to Sept. 8 at West Hartford’s Playhouse on Park, presented in association with The Bushnell.
Since the early 1980’s Alessandrini has created more than two dozen revues and their recordings that have run under the banner “Forbidden Broadway.” In 2006, he earned a special Tony Award for his work.
Alessandrini has written television specials for Bob Hope, Angela Lansbury, and Carol Burnett. He contributed material to the recent Barbra Streisand album Encore. His other musicals include “Madame X” (co-written with Robert Hetzel) and an all-sung version of Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker.” Most recently in New York, he directed the new revue “Anything Can Happen in the Theater: The Songs of Maury Yeston.” His “Spamilton” won Best Unique Theatrical Experience (Off-Broadway Theatre Alliance) and Show of the Year (2017 MAC Award). Other awards include seven Drama Desks (including two for Best Lyrics), one Obie, two Lucille Lortels, and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Drama League.
During the talk — which will feature clips from past satiric revues — will talk about what makes a great subject to spoof, his favorite parodies and reactions of some of Broadway’s biggest stars to his playful eye, including Ethel Merman, Mary Martin and Stephen Sondheim. He’ll even talk about the night Miranda and “Hamilton”’s creative team came to see the show — which features the cast singing one of the “Hamilton”’s most famous song and transforming it into “(I Wanna Be in) The Film When It Happens.”
Rizzo has covered the arts scene in Connecticut and beyond for more than 40 years and has written for The Hartford Courant, Connecticut magazine, The New York Times, his blog ShowRiz.com, among other periodicals and outlets. Rizzo also did a series of popular talks at The Mark Twain House and Museum about the musical “Hamilton” in advance of its run at The Bushnell last fall.
On Sept. 19, the “Little Harmless Fun” series will continue with author Lary Bloom who wrote the recent biography of artist Sol LeWitt.