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Posts Tagged ‘Spamalot’

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.

Random Access

January 10th, 2005 No comments

A few random updates:

Finished Half-Life 2 over the weekend. A great game, but a very disappointing ending. Note to game designers: if I save the world, I want to receive some sort of payoff. Cheering throngs, a little virtual nookie, anything other than being put into storage until the inevitable Half-Life 3. It would’ve been nice to at least see a little of the invasion aftermath, or have an opportunity to punch the villainous Dr. Breen in the face a few dozen times. Man, I hated that guy.

A busy week for me: not only am I in the final full week of rehearsal for The Phantom Tollbooth, but Vic and I are taking Wednesday off to drive to Chicago and see the pre-Broadway run of Spamalot. This is Eric Idle’s musical adaptation of Monty Python and the Holy Grail, starring David Hyde Pierce, Hank Azaria and Tim Curry. The only time for which we could get tickets was a Wednesday matinee. Don’t know if it’ll be good, but it should be fun!

Thursday, the installers come to hook up Dish Network. We’d been talking about migrating from cable for some time. Vic doesn’t like the ever-rising rates; I don’t like the endless, annoying Insight Cable commercials and the fact that they moved the Sci-Fi Channel to the digital tier. So, as of Thursday we join the satellite crowd, which means that I not only get Sci-Fi again (just in time for the premiere of the new Battlestar Galactica series), but also finally have a chance to check out some of my station’s competitors, including BBC America and Noggin. And best of all, we’re getting a PVR (one of them fancy disc drive recordin’ thangs), so it’ll be much easier to catch my favorite shows.

Appropos of nothing, here are my favorite spammers of the weekend: Wmowg Guwc (say that three times fast), Eddy Ooont and Sprained J. Lexicography.