A couple of weeks ago I parlayed my sweet, sweet Film Forum raffle winnings for a night of free Spamalot with my man Jack. It was, astonishingly, my fourth Broadway musical of the year, and Jack's first-ever on the Great White Way. And you couldn't ask for a more over-the-top introduction to this, by its nature, over-the-top medium. The sets, the costumes, the staging, the songs, the Python's trademark incredibly silly jokes, incredibly stretched out: all of it waaaaaaaay over the top.
Spamalot basically follows the story of Monty Python and the Holy Grail, and includes many of the movie's most famous bits: the Black Knight, "bring out yer dead", the Knights who say "Ni", the killer rabbit, the not-very-brave Sir Robin's minstrels, Tim the Enchanter, "what... the curtains?" the Frenchman's castle-wall taunts., etc. etc. Now, since I had just seen the movie in August with Bo and Co (and even that had been more of nostalgic experience than a laugh-out-loud one), I can't say I was exactly rolling in the Shubert Theater aisles at these well-delivered, cleverly-staged but by now 30-some-year-old gags. What I did enjoy very much, what felt most fresh and funny, were the musical numbers, especially those involving The Lady of Lake, who takes on a fairly large role here as Arthur's love interest and, as played by Lauren Kennedy, belts out several beautifully-done show-tune parodies like "The Song That Goes Like This" and "Find Your Grail." Other musical highlights included the maddeningly infectious "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life" and the show's eleven-o'clock song (which is what insiders call the number immediately before intermission—thanks, Bo, for the lingo! UPDATE: NOT called this, but still a good tune—thanks Blog About Town for the lingo clarity!), "Run Away."