Monty Python’s Spamalot
is a truly irreverent parody of the Arthurian Legend that was officially opened on 17 March, 2005 at New York’s Shubert Theatre, Broadway. Directed by Mike Nichols and choreographed by Casey Nicholaw, the Broadway previews were virtually sold out, and the show was highly enjoyed especially by groups of straight white men in New York City. Before the show had reached Broadway, however, it had been opened at Chicago’s Shubert Theatre in January 2005. After its popular appearance in New York, Spamalot
began its North American tour, going from Boston back to Chicago, and then to Washington DC, Toronto, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, and St. Louis.
is a comedic musical featuring Tim Curry as King Arthur who journeys to find the Holy Grail. The king must recruit warriors to accompany him on his quest. These knights are Sir Bedevere, Sir Robin, Sir Lancelot and Sir Dennis Galahad On the way King Arthur and his knights are met by the Lady of the Lake, played by Sara Ramirez. Prince Herbert, The French Taunter, Tim the Enchanter, Not Dead Fred, the Black Knight and the Knights who say Ni all come into being on stage at this time as well.
is really an old-fashioned, good time show with songs that go well with it. Tim Curry has a rich voice for the merry King Arthur. He has also got an ideal sidekick in Michael McGrath, who played Guard 2, the Mayer, and Patsy on the opening night of the show. Christopher Sieber looks especially good as Sir Dennis Galahad of the golden tresses. He also plays Prince Herbert’s Father and The Black Knight. But he is not as easy with all of his roles as Hank Azaria is, navigating comfortably and charmingly from Sir Lancelot to the French Taunter to the Knight of Ni and Tim the Enchanter.
David Hyde Pierce plays Sir Robin, Guard 1, and Brother Maynard. It is refreshing to see him on Broadway, abandoning the uptight role of Dr. Niles Frasier to join in the signing and dancing. As Sir Robin, Pierce makes a timid, low key delivery of “You Won’t Succeed on Broadway,” that deservedly stops the show at the top of Act Two. In one word, Pierce is delightful at this point. Yet the show is enhanced and embellished by the stunning Sara Ramirez, belting out and turning out to be one of the highlights of Spamalot
particularly for the straight white men who have loved the show.
is a box office hit by all means. Even though two musical numbers were dropped from Act One while the production was still in Chicago, New York City has taken much pleasure in the show. Spamalot
had described itself as “lovingly ripped off from the 1975 movie Monty Python and the Holy Grail
.” It is a show that the New Yorker could relate to, and its line from the song, “The Knights of the Round Table,” has become a hit in its own right: “we eat ham and jam and spam a lot.” But it is not about New York City in particular. In Chicago where the show was originally opened, Spamalot
fetched some $18 million in advance ticket sales, with ticket prices ranging from $36 to $101! The advance alone made Broadway box office history.