Journal - And Now For Something Completely Different Spamalot

Rave critical reviews, sell-out run, copious awards and gushing praises of those lucky few who have seen, "Ni," experienced Monty Python's "Spamalot." Its time for another Cultural Weekend Excursion to Denver to see the play so "lovingly ripped off from the motion picture "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" and the warped take on King Arthur's quest to find the "blasted cup that God the All-knowing has somehow, curiously misplaced."

It's Monty Python as I remember it, only slightly altered for a live, stage production. Albeit, at times some of the music reminded me of Mel Brooks' The Producers, except with the Pythonesque silliness. Not completely true to the movie, there are a few extra's that give a wink, a nod, and a nudge – say no more – snippets from the Python TV series and movies. There is an incorporation of the film's trademark animation played on the curtain and scenery.

The opening song is a very funny homage to Finland, wherein the narrator stops the show with, "I said, 'England!" Classic Python. There's also a homage to the movie "Life of Brian" with the song "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life." It's a happy tune, meant to cheer up poor King Arthur, even happier when the singers aren't being crucified. There is also a reference to the Parrott sketch. But, where oh where, is the Bridge of Death?

Traveling with a group from Hoxie, we arrived a mere five (5) minutes before curtain so it was time to find our seats, a mere four (4) rows from the front of the stage. Colby College Vice President Skip Sharp and his wife are separated during the sold out show, but Shuman and the choir are in their familiar Mezzanine seats.

The overture starts in a resounding up-tempo and 'normal' fashion but doesn't last long as the Python theme slips in and as you settle back for the show, a resounding gunshot reinstates your senses.

There is plenty of applause coming from the audience. The very sound of coconut hooves and "bring out your dead," bring everyone to life. We erupt again at the sight of the Knights Who Say Ni, the Trojan Rabbit and a killer sock-puppet rabbit.

Killer Bunny. Run away, brave Knights, run away!

Cheers at the familiar, I couldn't help but laugh, sometimes to tears, even before the classic lines are even delivered. The appearance of the French Guard, "I fart in your general direction!" "You sons of silly peoples!" "Go away or I'll have to taunt you a second time!" This stuff is hilarious!

Tauntings of the French Guard.

Monty Python humor isn't just a "boy's thing" there is an actual woman in the cast, a character not found in the movie, The Lady of The Lake. No relation to the ladies of Castle Anthrax. The Lady of the Lake is an annoying diva who constantly interrupts with songs spoofing musicals such the rendition of "this is the song that goes like this". She's even given her own momentum-killing song just to complain about the diminishing size of her role in the play. She even has her own backup dancers, the Lake® Girls.

…. women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government. …. (good scene for my government class);

Completely off the wall, yet delivered with seriousness and gusto. A great spoof on musical theater with scenes like "I'm Not Dead Yet Fred" turning into a cavalcade of dancing plague corpses.

King Arthur's Camelot is like Vegas. Complete with a Vegas spectacular; dancing girls, a round table - Wheel of Fortune, and Lancelot's coming-out dance party. A song by ….Journey??? A rocket-propulsion God? Wait, …. Lancelot's gay?

Not that there's anything wrong with that …

As I travel through the theater lobby on my way to the exit, I'm stalled by the throng of Python fans standing 10 deep making rabid purchases at the "Ye Olde Rippey Offey Shoppe" The shame of it all, the profiteers hawking their Python wares. Python fans waving credit cards and cash as they frantically grab such treasures as killer rabbit slippers, Black Knight dolls with arms and legs that come off, wooden Trojan rabbits, and toy catapults complete with cows. For those of you who understand these references, this show is a must see. If you don't understand, grab a DVD of Monty Python and the Holy Grail. There were also brisk sales of the CDs soundtrack with the Broadway cast, commemorative jars of Spam and Spam sandwiches.

I admit it. I bought a killer bunny, CD and poster for my home collection. Couldn't resist …. My will was broken, in a fun way. Skip Sharp bought a set of galloping coconuts as I recall.

This play is brilliant and fun. Monty Python has never been pure satire, its always been "silly," so don't expect to see a rehash of the movie. This is an irreverent desecration of the film, just as the Python's would have done. I cannot understate just how much more fun "Spamalot" is than … every other musical I have ever seen.

Buy a ticket, take the ride.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License