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Posts Tagged ‘Monty Python’

It Is A Silly Place

April 25th, 2008 No comments

What troubles me most about the following Star Trek/Monty Python mash-up is how little modification was necessary to make Kirk and Co. look like silly k-nig-its.

Ham And Jam And Spamalot

March 17th, 2005 No comments

Today sees the official opening of Monty Python’s Spamalot, a Broadway musical based, more or less, on the classic comedy film Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Almost from Day One (possibly Day Two, or the early morning of Day Three), the buzz has it that Spamalot is destined to be the next Producers. Having seen the show during its recent Chicago tryout, I’d have to agree. (Not that I’ve seen The Producers, because I foolishly missed its tryout run. When I heard about Spamalot, I was determined not to repeat that mistake.)

That’s not to say that Spamalot is any great piece of musical theatre. It is, after all, meant to be nothing more than a gloriously silly piece of fluff. Those who are expecting something more meaningful presumably walked into the wrong show by mistake.

My reading of Spamalot is that it’s less the Broadway musical version of Holy Grail than it is a piss take on the excesses of modern Broadway musicals. Not only are there the obvious swipes at Phantom of the Opera and Les Miserables, but the entire second act revolves around King Arthur’s secondary quest to stage his own musical, despite the tuneful, politically incorrect warning, “You Won’t Succeed on Broadway” (If You Don’t Have Any Jews).

While big-name talent such as writer Eric Idle, director Mike Nichols, and actors Tim Curry, David Hyde Pierce and Hank Azaria get most of the press, for me the real star of the show is Sara Ramirez, who plays the Lady of the Lake and most of the other female parts. She belts out several of the best numbers, and in the Chicago version, she even played the Cow!

I found the early incarnation of Spamalot to be massively entertaining, though a bit long in the second act. (I’ve heard that they’ve made some trims, including the Cow’s mournful Marlene Dietrich impression.) I suspect that it will grace Broadway for a very long time.