If you’re going to parody Broadway musicals, you need actors of Broadway caliber. Plus, they’ve got to have that little something extra — a propensity for the goofy that enables them to blast the originals into the comic stratosphere.
That’s certainly the case with the amazingly versatile seven-person cast of Spamilton: An American Parody, which today enters its fourth week at the Straz Center’s Jaeb Theater. And of those seven, none is more versatile than Ani Djirdjirian, who not only plays all three Schuyler sisters at once (with the help of two hand puppets), she pops up throughout the show in cameos so funny I don’t want to spoil ’em. Let’s just say they’re frequently disguised as a visitor out of Sweeney Todd.
Don’t worry; if you don’t know from the Schuyler sisters or Sweeney, you’ll still have a blast at Spamilton. And even if you haven’t seen Hamilton: An American Musical, you no doubt have been exposed — nay, over-exposed — to the hype surrounding the show and its creator Lin-Manuel Miranda, who gets a good going-over in the person of the excellent Adrian Lopez and whose ambition is one of the many targets of Gerard Alessandrini’s script. The creator of the fabled Forbidden Broadway revues, Alessandrini knows his way around show-biz send-ups, and Spamilton is as much a satire of Broadway in general as it is Hamilton in particular. Theater geeks will delight in seeing how many allusions they can pick up (as in a series of musical mashups like The Lion King and I) and they’ll relish insider jokes like rhyming “pay more” with “Julie Taymor.” But the talents of the cast, especially the protean Ms. Djirdjirian, carry it all off with such energy and good will that even the Broadway-averse will have a damn good time.
Spamilton, May 1-5, 7-12, Jaeb Theater at the Straz, tickets beginning at $30, strazcenter.org.