Beware the Killer Rabbits!
Monty Python’s loopy musical
Q: What do you bring to a witch burning at the stake?
Q: What do you do when the movie script calls for a “horse,” but the budget can’t afford one?
A: Have the actor gallop along on his own legs, followed by a servant “clop-clopping” empty coconut shells, just as they do on radio.
Welcome to the wonderfully wicked, wacky-world wisdom
of Monty Python’s Spamalot, a daft
musical running for a week at the
They’re all here from the King Arthur legend: Arthur
himself and the Knights of the Round Table—principally Sir Galahad, Lancelot
and Robin. Arthur tours
Cerebral comedy doesn’t always seem to transfer well from society to society. Yet physical comedy—slipping on a banana peel and taking a pratfall—is bound to get a laugh everywhere in the world. And no one’s slipping better these days than Arthur and his Knights. Of course, if your suit of armor is “bespotted” inside it’s even more slippery than a subtropical fruit peel! And wouldn’t your suit be bespotted if you saw a cow flying through the air directly at you? “Run for it!” yells Arthur.
Spamalot (rhymes with King Arthur’s palace,
Camelot) is more than crude, physical humor, however. Inspired lunacy might be
expected from five Oxbridge-educated men (the late Graham Chapman who died in
1989, John Cleese, Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Michael Palin, plus the witty
American director from
Several feature films would follow The Holy Grail, with all six men contributing as scriptwriters in addition to performing and directing. Given Idle’s quarter century’s performance experience with the group as well as solo, his musical book surpasses the movie’s competence despite the restrictions of a proscenium arch. This past March 18, the Broadway production celebrated its second anniversary at the Schubert Theatre, where it continues to play to capacity audiences. Tony-award winner Mike
Nichols (long associated with successful Neil Simon plays) directed. It comes as no surprise that Spamalot won the “Best Musical” Tony for 2005 with composer John Du Prez and Eric Idle nominated for “Best Original Score.”
But from whence the strange title, Spamalot? Could it be? Yes. It is named
for the Hormel Food Corp.’s canned luncheon meat. During World War II, canned
Spam numbered one of the very few meat products excluded from rationing in