Spamilton: An American Parody visits The Phoenix Theatre Company

By Laura Latzko

Lin-Manuel Miranda’s hit musical Hamilton forever changed the theater scene with its diverse cast

and incorporation of hip hop music. A parody show by Forbidden Broadway creator Gerard Alessandrini lovingly satirizes

the Hamilton creator and other

Broadway stars and shows.

The Phoenix Theatre Company will host the national tour of Spamilton: An American Parody from

Wednesday, June 12, to Sunday, August 11.  

The show references popular Broadway shows such as The Book of Mormon, The King and I, West Side Story,

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet

Street, The Lion King, Wicked, Cats, In the Heights and Mary

Poppins and stars such as Patti LuPone, Barbra Streisand, Andrew Lloyd Webber,

Bernadette Peters, Julie Andrews, Liza Minnelli and Stephen Sondheim.

It pokes fun at Lin-Manuel Miranda’s journey in creating Hamilton and the show’s overwhelming


Swing actress Marissa Hecker plays a number of different female roles in Spamilton: An American Parody's national tour.

The production has a cast of seven, many of whom play

multiple parts. Actor Adrian Lopez portrays the leading man, Lin-Manuel


Marissa Hecker, one of two actresses in the show, plays

different female roles throughout the show. 

A recent graduate of the University of Cincinnati’s

College-Conservatory of Music, Hecker has a background as a singer, dancer,

actress, cartoonist and writer. This is her first national tour.

Acting as a swing means she has to switch from one character

to another quickly, adapting her voice and mannerisms to each role.  

“I’m able to compartmentalize my brain to have all of these

different characters in my head and what I need to appear like, what I need to

sound like. I have very specific images in my head of what I need to do for

each moment,” Hecker said.

In one scene, Hecker plays Angelica Schuyler actress Renee

Elise Goldsberry and holds two puppets to represent Phillipa Soo and Jasmine

Cephas Jones, the original actresses who played the other two Schuyler Sisters in


Hecker said the biggest challenge of the show is finding a

balance in playing the characters over-the-top but making them relatable.

“You as the performer understand how ridiculous it is, but

the most important job of an actor is to tell the story. So, you really want to

believe everything that you say,” Hecker said.  

The cabaret-style production is performed in smaller

theaters, with the audience close to the action onstage. During some moments in

the show, the actors address the audience members directly.

The show spoofs popular Hamilton songs with versions such as “Lin-Manuel As Hamilton,” “Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Cries,” “Ticket Beggar Woman,”  “What Did You Miss?,” “Aaron Burr, Sir, Nervous-er,” “His Shot” and “Straight is Back.”

“They use songs from Hamilton

against themselves to make fun of its own ridiculousness and its own

seriousness,” Hecker said.

In scenes throughout the show, props and costumes play a

major role in helping to tell the story and reference other Broadway musicals

and personalities.  

The show was designed for both more casual and serious

theatergoers. Hecker said that most audience members will know at least some of

the references.  

“It’s really a show for everyone, both Hamilton fans and Broadway fans,” Hecker said.

Spamilton: An American Parody occurs at various times from June 12 to August 11 at the Hormel Theatre at The Phoenix Theatre Company, 1825 N. Central Ave. Tickets start at $32. Call 602-254-2151 or visit for information.

Financial Planning for the LGBTQ+ community

The new year has arrived. For many people, that means making resolutions and thinking of ways they can do better in the coming year and beyond. Money management and financial planning are often very popular resolutions and goals, but most financial advice tends to be aimed at heterosexual couples who want to grow their family and raise children.

But, what if your life goals are different? What if you don’t receive the same protection under the current laws as hetero couples?
What if you don’t want to have kids?

Keep reading Show less
Photo courtesy of Joe Eats World

Slane Irish Whiskey bottles

Disclaimer: My trip was provided courtesy of a press trip but all opinions about the trip and events are my own. Please note there are affiliate links and at no additional cost to you, I may earn a commission if you make a purchase.

Keep reading Show less
Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

Mental Health for LGBTQ+ Aging Adults

Queer elders have made a big impact on the world. Queer folks over the age of 65 were around during the Stonewall Movement in the 1960s and may have even campaigned to improve the rights and freedoms of LGBTQ+ people around the world.

But, as queer elders enter later life, they may need to find new ways to protect and preserve their mental health.

Keep reading Show less