MONTY PYTHON'S SPAMALOT
No doubt about it—this is one of the funniest shows you’ll see this year—or maybe ever. You don’t have to be a Python fan to appreciate the sheer lunacy of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table arguing over the Holy Grail. “Holy quail?” “No, grail!” “What’s a grail?” “It’s a cup.” “God wants us to find a cup? Did he lose it? Why doesn’t he just create another one?” Or arriving in a Camelot which happens to look a lot like Vegas, with scantily clad dancing girls, roulette tables, and the motto “What happens in Camelot stays in Camelot.” Or the Lady of the Lake, with her Laker Girls, singing a duet with Galahad, “Once in every show/There is song like this…/Here is the song/That goes like this,” as a large crystal chandelier comes down from the flies. A Lancelot who discovers that he’s gay (“He’s Lancelot,/He’s in tight pants a lot…”). An elaborate production number about how they’ll never succeed on Broadway if they don’t have any Jews. A killer rabbit. And a Frenchman who defends his castle with curses—“I blow my nose at you!”—and militant flatulence: “I fart in your general direction!”
The whole thing is done with great style and pace (it was directed by Mike Nichols), and for a touring production the talent is first-rate, led by Tony Award winner Gary Beach as Arthur. The singers can sing, the dancers can dance, and it really is funny as hell. If you love musical theatre, you’ll find it particularly inspirational since it takes the piss out of every great Broadway show and every overused musical theatre cliché ever. It’s The Holy Grail meets The Producers. The big finale, “Find Your Grail,” is as wonderful as the French farters are hilarious. Not to be missed.