With 11 Tony wins and unparalleled box office grosses, there aren't a lot of people who can say that they've beat "Hamilton" — But when it comes to the Broadway Show League, the "Aladdin" softball team can make that claim, and even created a "Hamilton" parody video celebrating their win!
Yesterday, on the eve of their rematch with "Hamilton" in the second round of the playoffs, I spoke with "Aladdin" team captain and Broadway veteran James Moye — currently the standby for Jafar and the Sultan — about the ins and outs of their viral video and the Broadway Show League.
So how are you feeling going into your rematch with "Hamilton" tomorrow?
I feel great. We played really great again last week, so we feel like we’re on a bit of a roll right now, so it’s a good time to face "Hamilton" again, because they have a great team.
What was the genesis of this video? How did it come to be?
Two of our ensemble members, Jaz Sealey and Angelo Soriano, were really the brains behind it. We have a very talented group of musicians and songwriters here, and they sort of thought it would be a fun idea to parody our biggest win. We set it up and got some of the cast together who played in the game, but we got Courtney Read [Jasmine] to make a cameo for us, because she doesn’t play on the softball team.
It was very fun for me, because I was on standby for Jafar, and they were talking about doing it between shows, and I was like, “Well, then I’m staying in makeup.” And so it just sort of worked out. The verse they gave me made mention of my shoes, and I was like, “Well, then I’m leaving Jafar’s shoes on.” We were all very happy with how it turned out, because it was also done in a one-shot, so that was also kind of stressful for us to make sure we sure we could get everything together in one take!
How many takes did it take?
I think we shot it 3 or 4 times and got it.
How long did it take to go from an idea to executing it?
It was actually immediate — I mean literally the game was Thursday — and then we shot it on — I think the idea started getting kicked around Thursday night during the show. Jaz wrote it and sort of put it together during the day Friday — put a demo together and then we shot it Saturday between shows. So it was literally like it was come up with within a day.
What's been the response from "Hamilton?"
You know, it made us laugh so we thought it would make "Hamilton" laugh. And they were great sports about it. They came up to us last week at the softball game, you know, and were definitely giving us high fives and they thought it was hilarious. So, yeah. It was definitely good — in the spirit of sportsmanship and fun, which is what Broadway Show League is really all about. But I’m sure tomorrow they’ll be looking to enact some vengeance.
What do you love most about the Broadway Show League?
That it’s a great place for the community to get together and have a good time. And see each other week to week, and continue to see friends you did shows with, and compete against them. You get a lot of people out there who are former high school baseball players, or maybe not quite at that level. So I would say there’s a good level of competition, but at the same time, people are out there to have a good time and have fun. And it’s a great way for us to sort of just get together as a community. Another place to hang out and enjoy great summer days in Central Park.