An American Parody
by Gerard Alessandrini
Menier Chocolate Factory, 51 Southwark Street, London SE1 1RU to 8 September 2018.
Tues-Sat 8pm Mat Sat & Sun 3.30pm
Runs 95 mins No interval.
TICKETS: 029 7378 1713
Review: William Russell 25 June
Sending up the latest sacred cow
Hamilton is, as we all know, the latest greatest ever musical to hit the stages of Broadway and London. This parody of greatness is by Gerard Alessandrini the creator of Forbidden Broadway, the show that puts other shows in their place, and while patchy is frequently spot on – more bulls’ eyes than misses – and is performed with great energy by a first rate cast. Five performers “do” his version of Lin Miranda’s show, a version which would have merited four stars except that it is done at such speed that clarity suffers and not all the words come over, which is what they ought to do if the joke per se is to work. They are backed by Sophie-Louise Dann and Damian Humbkey who do what one might call the Forbidden Broadway bits and are seriously underused. It is not that the five – Marc Akinfolarin, Jason Denton, Eddie Elliott, Julie Yammanee and Liam Tamne, who plays Miranda with delicious self regard and charm – are anything but very good indeed. It is just that Dann, who does a delicious Elaine Paige – “one more foot and you could see my face” – and a hyperactive Lisa Minelli among others – and Humbley as a super camp King George – are so good one wants more of them. Best moment, perhaps, is the song in which they “wanna be in the film when it happens.” In other words, not biting satire, gentle mockery, lots of energy, terrific choreography, good jokes – never say something is the best o f the century as the critic Ben Brantley is reminded for having said Book of Mormon was the best of the century only for Hamilton to come along – and air conditioning. It does help to know your musicals, however.
Director: Gerard Alessandrini.
Choreographer: Gerry McIntyre.
Set Designer: Morgan Large.
Costume Designer: Dustin Cross.
Lighting Designer: Tim Lutkin.
Sound Designers: Gregory Clarke & Jonathan Everett.
Musical Arranger: Fred Barton..
Musical Director: Simon Beck.
Production photographs: Johan Person.