WHERE The Triad, 158 W. 72nd St.
INFO $59 plus two-drink minimum; triadnyc.com
BOTTOM LINE “Hamilton” gets roasted — well done — by Gerard Alessandrini.
It must be destiny. Here is “Hamilton” — here, there, everywhere — the altogether brilliant musical that has been unable to avoid becoming the biggest-hyped phenomenon in anyone’s musical memory.
And here is Gerard Alessandrini, the mastermind of 25 satirical editions of “Forbidden Broadway,” facing an ongoing shortage of hits big enough to deserve and withstand treatment by one of his ruthless yet lovable cabarets.
Welcome, “Spamilton.” It’s a terrific spoof that had to happen by the only artist we know with the theater understanding and the dark heart to be able to pull it off. Take the program cover, a silhouette of Hamilton thumbing his nose instead of the official outline of him pumping his arm in triumph. Instead of the hit’s laughable (come on, admit it) subtitle, “An American Musical,” the line now says, “An American Parody.”
The 75-minute gem has just five performers of mad versatility, plus two priceless guest artists, including Christine Pedi, a company veteran in a delirious succession of Broadway divas begging for “Hamilton” tickets in the guise of the beggar woman in “Sweeney Todd.”
As in every review of an Alessandrini show, there comes this time when spoiler alerts threaten to take over the space. How does one share the cleverness of these takeoffs without ruining the jokes and the surprises, of which there are many?
OK, I’ll give you one. Instead of Hamilton’s vow, “I am not giving up my shot!,” this Hamilton (Dan Rosales sporting a nerdy Van Dyke beard) promises, “I’m not gonna let Broadway rot!” The rest — and, trust me, there is much more — is smarter and funnier, but you get the motivation behind Alessandrini’s mission.
Nora Schell has an unstoppable, powerful voice and the wit to match as a variety of female characters, but mostly as Angelica Schuyler, one of the three sisters in “Hamilton.” Significantly, the other siblings are Angelica’s hand puppets. Nicholas Edwards has the huge hair and even bigger insolent charm as he channels Daveed Diggs, the charismatic actor who created the roles of the Marquis de Lafayette and Thomas Jefferson.
Chris Anthony Giles brings both the defensiveness and the danger of Aaron Burr, while Juwan Crawley has the shadowy sweetness that oozed out of James Madison.
The show’s verbosity, the imperfect rhymes, the too-fast-to- comprehend multisyllabic speed are all fair game, as are the mash-ups with other shows of the last few seasons. Unlike “Forbidden Broadway,” there is no tacky curtain of silver mylar, and the cabaret has been spiffed up. But the courage, the did-he-really-say-that moments, Fred Barton’s pianism and, of course, the wigs, are all marvelous.