SPAMILTON - A Hamilton parody, blessed by Lin-Manuel Miranda, loved by all!

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From Gerard Alessandrini, the mastermind behind Forbidden Broadway, comes Spamilton, a sneak peek into his ongoing obsession with Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton. Now in its second smash year off-Broadway, the musical is playing to packed houses at the 47th Street Theater / Puerto Rican Traveling Theater.  Spamilton was awarded “Best Unique Theatrical Experience” by the Off-Broadway Alliance and Show of the Year at the 2017 Manhattan Association of Cabarets & Clubs (MAC) Awards. The show was also nominated for Best Lyrics at the Drama Desk Awards, Outstanding New Off-Broadway Musical by the Outer Critics Circle, Best Off-Broadway Musical by the Theater Fans’ Choice Awards, and a Distinguished Performance award from the Drama League.

The current cast features Dan Rosales, Nicole Vanessa Ortiz, Chris Anthony Giles, Aaron Michael Ray, and Tristan J. Shuler. We chatted with the wonderful cast, here are the excerpts.

You all make the show look easy, but it's not. Anyone with a smiche of musical knowledge knows, you are ALL well trained. How do you keep your instrument in Tip Top Shape?

Dan Rosales:

The show is definitely a marathon for all of us— its fast paced and super high energy, so we all try to take care of ourselves as best we can. We don’t have the luxury of a traditional musical that has scenes or large solo numbers, this is very much an ensemble show and we’re onstage for most of the time— either rapping, singing, shouting or all three. I have an amazing voice teacher, Mike Ruckles, whom I take lessons with whenever I can. His technique and methodology help inform the way I perform the show.  

Nicole Vanessa Ortiz:

I try to make sure I get 8-10hrs of vocal rest while also making sure to give myself 3-4 hours to vocally come around as I sip on my Traditional Medicinals Throat Coat Lemon Echinacea tea mixed with my medicinal herbal drops to prevent me from getting sick for those 8 shows a week.

 Aaron Michael Ray:

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Something that's really important is making sure that you are physically and mentally ready to do a show 8 times a week. No one really tells you how hard it is and if no one has told you let me be the first, it's tough! What I do to make sure I'm able to do the show every day is to constantly stay hydrated. It's super important to drink water as well as anything that helps you get your electrolytes in. I also have little to no dairy in my diet altogether because it creates a lot of phlegm in my voice. Before I get to the theater I also make sure that my body is physically and vocally warm so I don't feel cold stepping on stage. Sometimes before the shows I have some lemon ginger tea.

Chris Anthony Giles:

Well the smart thing to do when in an 8 show a week run of a show is to not go out much, don't drink or smoke, and generally rest your voice and body. Singing is basically yelling on pitch, so doing that for an hour or two a day can be taxing. Luckily I'm an introvert who naturally shys away from such things, so I haven't had much problems in that area. Any difficulty I have stems from keeping the material fresh after such a long run.

Were you all in the cast when Lin came and blessed the show? If so, do you have a Lin story? Share your Lin story?

Dan Rosales:

I’m one of two original cast members remaining, and we were there for BOTH times Lin came to see the show. The first time was a little nerve-wracking, but the second time was just a blast. When I used to work at a restaurant in-between performing jobs, I actually waited on Lin and his wife. They were both so nice and pleasant, and I was able to tell Lin the story when he came to see the show the first time— he was like “No Way!!"

Nicole Vanessa Ortiz:

Since I didn't start until April 2017, I unfortunately missed "My Shot" to perform for Lin!

Glenn Bassett:

I was in the cast when Lin saw it.  It was interesting to see the reaction of the audience to him being there, especially the young girls.  They were so giddy, it felt like we were in the 1950's or 60's in the presence of a matinee idol.  He also brought with him Thomas Kail and Alex Lacamoire.  I had a great chat with Alex who couldn't have been nicer (and so much of the brilliance of Hamilton comes from his arrangements)!

Chris Anthony Giles:

Yes I am part of the original cast and was here both times when Lin came, first with Alex Lacamoire and Tommy Kail, then with his family. He's a great guy who came back stage, gave us all hugs and stayed for at least 30 minutes talking and taking pictures. 

What's next for you?   

Nicole Vanessa Ortiz:

I've always loved the spontaneity of embracing unexpected blessings as they come and Spamilton has definitely been one of them. With that said I still plan on auditioning for more amazing roles in theater, television and even film while continuously working on my original music that, by God's time, will most certainly be released in the near future!

Glenn Bassett:

I'll be performing in the Los Angeles production of Spamilton as the king (as well as designing the set and props) in November and I am currently writing lyrics and libretto for an original musical called Dig A Little Deeper with composer Adam David Cohen.

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In addition to the Off-Broadway run in New York City, Spamilton currently has a Chicago production, and will launch a West Coast premiere at the Kirk Douglas Theatre this November that will be produced in Los Angeles by Center Theatre Group.

Checkout more at http://spamiltonnyc.com/