“Monty Python’s Spamalot” – Play Review

The musical, “Monty Python’s Spamalot”, a hilarious spoof on the motion picture, “Monty Python and the Holy Grail”, has been showing at the City Lights theater in San Jose, to sold out audiences.  It is based on the book and lyrics by Eric Idle and Music by John DuPrez and Eric Idle, and is brilliantly directed by Jeffrey Bracco.

Cover of "Monty Python's Spamalot: 2005 T...

Cover via Amazon

King Arthur (Ken Boswell) along with his squire, Patsy, gathers his knights, The Knights of the Round Table, and goes about in search of the Holy Grail, as instructed by God.  When King Arthur encounters Dennis in the countryside, Dennis challenges his claim to the throne.  King Arthur responds that the Lake Lady herself (who emerged from the Lake with an Excalibur), proclaimed him to be the king.  Dennis says, “executive powers are bestowed by the masses, not derived from some strange acquatic ceremonies”.  The tone is set for rip roaring and blunt humor that is daffily delivered.

In the quest for the grail, the king and his knights go to the French-controlled castle and try to sneak into the castle in a Trojan Rabbit.  Only problem – they forget to hide themselves in the rabbit!  As the quest continues, each of the knights encounters various perils, including Arthur and Bedevere’s strange encounter with the dreaded Knights who say Ni, and the Three-Headed Giant who calls Sir Robin to a fight, a challenge that Sir Robin resolves by running away, as his minstrel sings, “Brave Sir Robin ran away”.  When they try to enter the caves where the location of the grail is written, they have to defeat the rabbit, and they can only do it by using the Holy Hand Grenade.  They have to consult the book of armaments to figure out how to operate the grenade and with great pomp they read, “And the Lord spake, saying, First shalt thou take out the Holy Pin. Then shalt thou count to three, no more, no less. Three shall be the number thou shalt count, and the number of the counting shall be three.”

In Monty Python, the irreverence is extended to everything, including the religion, the monarchy, as well as the Broadway, and Spamalot is “lovingly ripped off from the classic film comedy”, with great music, lots of dance numbers and a fantastic and large cast that rises to the challenge.   Special shoutouts to Ken Boswell (King Arthur), Clara Rose Walker (Lady of the Lake), Nick Manfredi (Sir Robin & the Guard), Josiah Frampton (Patsy), James Snell (Sir Galahard), and Jeremy Ryan (Sir Bedevere). The entire cast participated with aplomb, in the tomfoolery, delivering one-liners and puns with slapstick wit and the effect is, the musical will have you laughing from the opening scene to the very end.

Monty Python’s Spamalot will be running at the City Lights Theater in San Jose, till August, 31.  Tickets can be purchased at www.cltc.org.




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