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New musical parodies HBO’s ‘”Games of Thrones”

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While Chicago’s newest play, “Hamilton” has certainly earned its title as the most popular musical of the city, there is another worth a certain amount of attention as well.  Off course from the city’s Theatre District lies “Thrones! The Musical Parody,” now playing throughout this fall at the Apollo Theater. “Thrones!” tells comedic story full of the kings, queens, death and betrayal in the land of Westeros.  Based on the immensely popular HBO television series, “Game of Thrones,” this new comedic musical based on the series proves to be the latest worthy addition of the many recent adaptions of George R. R. Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire” book series.

Certainly not as dark or twisted as the television show, “Thrones!” provides 21 outlandish original songs at a running time, just a little over a half an hour past the television series’ hour-long episodes.

The hysterical tale of “Thrones!” begins as six friends gather for a “Game of Thrones” viewing party, only to realize one of them, Brad, has never seen the show.  In his living room, his wife and his friends’ scavenger hunt for household items to use as props and costumes to catch Brad up on the six plot-heavy seasons of “Game of Thrones.”  While Brad hasn’t seen the HBO series, it’d be wise for the audience to.  In order to get most of these jokes, songs, references and skits, one better be ready to channel their inner geekiness and conjure up some “Game of Thrones” and “Lord of the Rings” knowledge.

Switching between costumes and wigs, the cast attempts to tackle all major characters in the telvisions large ensemble cast.  From Jon Snow to Daenerys, Tyrion to Jamie and Cersei, the cast effortlessly changes impressions from every scene – some excellent, some not – showcasing and mocking every quirk of every character.  One scene includes a quick shot at Daenerys Stormborn’s extensively long and over said Mother of Dragons, Queen of Meereen, et cetera, et cetera, title.  Other songs and dances include recaps of Jon’s time at the Wall, Jamie and Cersei’s twisted and sick relationship and even a tribute number to the character of Hodor for his heroic holding the door deed.

Because spoilers are so frequent within the “Game of Thrones” community, I’ll keep the songs and descriptions limited to what’s above.  But beyond the ballads and dances, what “Thrones! The Musical Parody” does best is its ability to be so immensely energetic with its crowd.  The small cast of six actors and actresses are capable of holding their own throughout the entire play, and the small remote stage and costumes of the theater production create a personal experience for all.

Playing Brad is Nicholas Druzbanski, possibly the funniest of the cast given he does indeed have the most material to work with.  Even so, Druzbanski’s talent is undeniable on stage as he easily gets the most laughs playing the one friend we all have that has never seen the television series.  Along with Druzbanski are the beautiful voices of actresses Caitlyn Cerza and Madeline Lauzon, who raise each song and dance to the next level with their musical abilities.

The remaining cast still do a rather splendid job of delivering jokes together and impersonating characters from the series.  Beyond the immersive experience for the audience, the small theater production succeeds mostly due to the fact that it firmly does not attempt to be bigger or flashier than it already is.  The audience of “Thrones! The Musical Parody” couldn’t care less about extravagant costumes and props, and the way in which the plot of the play addresses this is brilliant.

“Thrones! The Musical Parody” is about being a geek and being proud of it – while still taking some jabs at yourself – but when you come to a show where some members of the audience are dressed in cosplay as their favorite Game of Thrones characters, then you have yourself a devoted fan base.

The musical, which originally premiered in the UK, deserves itself a warm welcome to the city of Chicago as one of the best and funniest plays to see for fans and geeks alike.

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New musical parodies HBO’s ‘”Games of Thrones”