It had to happen.

You can’t have a play as well-known, or as successful, or as beloved, as Broadway’s “Hamilton” without someone coming along with a parody.

At the Bucks County Playhouse this weekend, that someone is award-winning playwright Gerard Alessandrini, creator, writer, and director of “Spamilton: An American Parody.”

Of course, Alessandrini is eminently qualified for the job, having risen to fame with his “Forbidden Broadway,” a musical parody revue that earned him a Tony Honors for Excellence in Theatre award.

For something to work as a parody, Alessandrini said, it needs three elements: familiarity (everybody knows the songs and plot), good music, and a strong story.

“Those elements are spoofable,” he explained. Consider “Les Misérables or Phantom of the Opera. We are supposed to take the stories and the scores very seriously. Hamilton has all those elements. It’s debunking a sacred cow that people take seriously.”

Alessandrini’s Spamilton isn’t simply a spoof on the plot with some amusing retelling (or rather, re-singing) of America’s early history. It has another story to tell — of a different revolution, this one on Broadway.

“I believe Hamilton was very well done,” Alessandrini said. “It was fresh. It was what Broadway needed. When it appeared and was a hit, it made a lot of Broadway shows look pale. It raised the bar. It was a different type of casting. More racially diverse and more inclusive.

“We talk about all of that in Spamilton,” he said.

For example, to showcase Hamilton’s contribution to Broadway, Alessandrini rewrote the words to “My Shot,” the play’s dynamic third number. The original begins with Lin-Manuel Miranda, as Alexander Hamilton, singing, “I’m not throwin’ away my shot.”

Alessandrini’s lyrics? “I’m not going to let Broadway rot.”

By the way, Miranda has not only seen the show, but he also brought his family back to watch it as well.

“He seemed to like it, and he laughed a lot,” Alessandrini said. “He said, ‘I’m going to have to get therapy after seeing the show. I laughed my brains out.’ ”

Jan. 28 through Jan. 30, Bucks County Playhouse, 70 S. Main St., New Hope. For tickets, information, bcptheater.org or 215-862-2121. Masks and proof of vaccination required.

‘Cure at Troy’

Just over a year ago, President Joe Biden placed his hand on a Bible and swore to uphold his duties as the 46th president of the United States. A few months earlier, when he received his party’s nomination to be its presidential candidate at the Democratic National Convention, Biden included the final lines of Irish poet and playwright Seamus Heaney’sThe Cure at Troy” in his acceptance speech.

“The Irish poet Seamus Heaney once wrote,” Biden said, “ ‘History says / Don’t hope on this side of the grave / But then, once in a lifetime / The longed-for tidal wave / Of justice can rise up / And hope and history rhyme.’

“This is our moment to make hope and history rhyme,” Biden said.

To Alexander Burns, producing artistic director at Quintessence Theatre Group in Mount Airy, Biden’s use of the Seamus Heaney poem is just more evidence that the playwrights of ancient times remain relevant today.

That relevance, Burns said, is why he chose to include Heaney’s The Cure at Troy in Quintessence’s Season XII: Breaking the Cycle, a gathering of plays focused on healing — both personal and societal.

“It’s exciting to experience The Cure at Troy as drama, instead of just exclusively as read poetry,” Burns said. “It’s wildly impactful both ways.”

Heaney’s oft-quoted poem is part of his reworking of Greek tragedian Sophocles’ play “Philoctetes,” which dates to 409 B.C. (!). In the play, Odysseus and his fellow Greek soldiers need Philoctetes’ help to win a war, but he loathes them as they abandoned him when he was, and remains, wounded.

“This play really focuses on what happens when society fails one of its members and abandons them,” Burns said. “What is the healing and what can be done when the human impulse is toward revenge when someone is neglected or abandoned?”

“We need to ask that as people and as Philadelphians,” Burns said. “What is the best way forward? These are the same questions we are asking ourselves today about issues of social justice and considerations on gender and race.”

“I believe in theater as a place to ask questions and for us as an audience to join as a community to solve these problems,” Burns said. “The Greek plays give us insight into what possible answers might be, and/or at least warn us what not to do.”

Steven Anthony Wright plays Philoctetes, joined by Joseph Langham as Odysseus and Jo Vito Ramirez as Neoptolemus.

Jan. 26 through Feb. 20 at Quintessence Theatre Group, Sedgwick Theater, 7137 Germantown Ave., Philadelphia. For tickets, information, 215-987-4450, www.QTGrep.org. Masks and proof of vaccination required.

‘Abandon’ by James Ijames

As the first of its three one-night-only Studio X-hibition readings, Theatre Exile will present “Abandon” by Philadelphia playwright James Ijames. Ijames’ work is attracting a flurry of attention nationally, and this year, he is leading co-artistic director at the Wilma Theater. Theatre Exile has promised to both stage Abandon’s world premiere as part of its 2022-2023 season and to continue its program highlighting local playwrights with virtual readings of their scripts through its new play development program, Studio X-hibition. The program allows playwrights to see their work performed and receive feedback. In Abandon, two strangers form an unlikely bond after a chance meeting one winter night. Brett Ashley Robinson directs.

Jan. 31, 8 p.m., via Zoom. Theatre Exile’s Studio X-hibition. For information and to register, theatreexile.org. Pay what you wish.

‘A Couple of Swells’ in Ambler

Philly favorites Tony Braithwaite and Jennifer Childs cowrote and costar in “A Couple of Swells,” a sure-to-be entertaining musical revue at Ambler’s Act II Playhouse. Swells pays homage to comedy couples, including Don Ameche and Frances Langford in The Bickersons, and George Burns and Gracie Allen in The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show.

Through Jan. 30 at Act II Playhouse, 56 E. Butler Ave., Ambler. For information, tickets, act2.org or 215-654-0200. Masks and proof of vaccinations or a recent negative antigen test required.

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