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As HBO’s Game of Thrones wrapped filming on season seven in February, fans were left pondering the fates of Jon Snow, Daenerys Targaryan and Sansa Stark until the show resumes airing this summer. Of course, theories abound among GoT faithful. At last month’s BAFTA Awards, Sophie Turner, who plays Sansa, confirmed some of them when she let slip that she would be returning for the eighth and final season, making her a survivor on a show where few die of natural causes.
Fans can fight withdrawal over the next few months by checking out the dozens of parodies on the internet, whether it’s a Thrones mashup with Seinfeld or castmembers from the show teaming up with Coldplay for Red-Nose Day. In Hollywood, fans can get their fix live with two new spoofs, Thrones!: The Musical Parody at Hudson Mainstage Theatre, produced by Emily Dorezas; and Game of Thrones: The Musical at West Hollywood’s Macha Theatre, written by Steven Christopher Parker and Steven Brandon.
“Any time there’s a passion for anything, it makes it ripe for parody because it’s calling out the absurdity in passion,” Dorezas explains. Her show has been touring since its 2015 premiere at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. For Parker and Brandon, this is their second parody after 2014’s Lost: The Musical.
“It’s really just a soap opera and it happens to be set in a world of dragons and white walkers. But really it’s the War of the Roses,” says Brandon. “It’s the old school of families wanting to become kings. It just happens that one family is full of incest, another family is full of boring characters and another family has dragons.”
If you remember back to the first season of Thrones, on which Brandon’s show is based, the Starks had nothing on the racy antics of the Lannisters — sex, wine and, after young Bran Stark catches brother and sister Jaime and Cercei in bed together, attempted murder as the child is tossed from a window. It’s a moment hilariously reenacted in Brandon’s show when an actor is replaced with a ridiculously flimsy rag doll and sent tumbling from the upstage balcony.
As far as effects go, the flimsier the funnier, especially on equity-waiver budgets. To portray Daenerys emerging unsinged from a fire with three newly hatched dragons, Mandie Hittleman appears nearly naked, with Styrofoam dragon heads strategically affixed to her as she sings, “Dothraki Love Song.”
For both productions, ardent fans of the show are the core audience. Game of Thrones: The Musical is offering cosplay Sundays, with a contest at intermission for the best outfit. Thrones!: The Musical Parody became a hit after a stop at Comic-Con; the production is hoping for a repeat appearance this year if they’re not touring the U.K. at the time. Either way, they will continue rewriting and adding songs as the new narrative unfolds.
“I believe that Daenerys and Jon Snow will probably be connected and do something important,” Dorezas predicts of season seven. “I think of all these storylines and try to outguess where they’re going to connect.”
Brandon’s production will run through April, at which time he’ll start thinking of the next parody. The genre seems to be everywhere in Los Angeles these days, with Rockwell Table & Stage in Los Feliz making it a weekend fixture, including musical riffs on Home Alone and Mean Girls.
In the meantime, Brandon has had some success in the sitcom market, so he’ll keep writing and pitching. “All they like to do in Hollywood is say no,” he says, explaining why it’s worth the time and effort, despite little or no pay. “This is our chance to do something ourselves, without having to get a ‘yes’ from other people.”
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