I was feeling blue one day, so I checked out a random Broadway show soundtrack from the library. Little did I know that these would be the songs I would soon listen to over and over again…
Now, I’m a total Broadway baby. I grew up hearing the music of many shows, and have seen a few so far as an adult (they’re expensive, come on!). So when I was down in the dumps last week, I headed over to that section of the CD stacks. My grandma had raved to me about “Spamalot” after seeing it weeks before, and I had already seen the movie the show was based on, so I figured, why not?
But I was skeptical, Lovelies, and here’s why: I honestly don’t find many of the classic Monty Python sketches funny. Maybe it’s because I grew up in America, which has a totally different tradition of comedy than Great Britain. Let’s face it, we Yanks tend to be a bit more brash and rude in our humor than the Brits (I say lovingly! And be warned, the comics in these clips have foul mouths). But I took a chance on “Spamalot” because I love a well-written musical. And holy cow, was I rewarded!
Okay, maybe “holy cow” wasn’t the right phrase…
Here’s the plot, in a nutshell: King Arthur seeks out the Holy Grail with his loyal Knights of the Round Table, encountering obstacles and mythical creatures along the way. This is a classic tale, but when told in the style of the legendary British comedy troupe Monty Python, it’s completely hilarious. For example, you’ve probably heard all about the Black Knight from Arthurian legends. But do you know about the Black Knight who wouldn’t give in to Arthur no matter what?
As always, I have few complaints about the show: There’s hardly any female characters in the show at all. Sure, there’s the Lady of the Lake, who parodies the classic Broadway diva character to great effect. But other than her, Mrs. Galahad (who only appears in the scene in the clip below), and a bunch of silly chorus girls, women don’t really have anyone to relate to in this show.
There’s also this to consider: Not everyone from the original Monty Python crew was happy with how the musical turned out. The play itself was written by Eric Idle, one of the original members of the Python crew, with none of the other original members contributing. As a result, some of them were a little disappointed with the direction it ended up taking. But the consensus among the Pythons appears to be a kind of begrudging acceptance. As Michael Palin (no relation to Sarah) once said in an interview:
It’s a great show. It’s not ‘Python’ as we would have written it. But then, none of us would get together and write a ‘Python’ stage show. Eric eventually ran out of patience and said, ‘Well, I’ll do it myself then.’ He sent us bits and songs and all that and we said, ‘Yeah, that’s all right, have a go.’ But its success is so enormous that it took us all by surprise, including Eric, and now we’re just proud to be associated with it, rather pathetically.
That’s good enough for me! And if nothing else, I’m going to try to see a show of “Spamalot” for the fabulous music. The first time I heard this song, I couldn’t get it out of my head. Not that I’d want it to leave!