Last night my sister and I went to see SPAMALOT! and it was unbelievably amazing. Very possible that it may be my new favorite show right now. Here is the basic plot, taken from the main website:
(BTW… if you found nothing funny in that little thing then stop reading right now. Because you wont find this musical funny. At all.) So basically it is about King Arthur looking for knights to sit with him at his “very very very round table” in Camelot. He finds these knights: Sir Galahad, Sir Lancelot, Sir Bedevere, and Sir Robin. They travel on “horses” (consisting of banging coconuts together to create the effect of horses hooves). They soon embark to Camelot. Then God (who is not really “God” but rather a HUGE pair of feet that descend onto the stage) comes to them from a cloud and orders them to find the Holy Grail. And then a bunch of silly/randomness happens while they are searching for the Grail. It was extremely funny and never a dull moment. Add in a good audience and fantastic acting and it was one of the best theater performances.
***WARNING: THIS POST CONTAINS SOME SPOILERS.***
King Arthur: King of the Britons. Not the brightest crayon in the box but he is very eager to fulfill his quest from God. He also has trouble counting to three. Oliver Tydman, the understudy, played King Arthur and besides being quite good-looking, he was extremely talented. He turned what could have been a dumb, pious character into something spectacular. The more I remember little scenes where he danced or made certain faces or expressions, the more I think he is one of my favorite Broadway characters.
Sir Lancelot the Homicidally Brave: A knight with a slight anger problem in the beginning. Also many many many questions about his sexuality throughout the entire performance, which only adds humor to the tough “brute” personality he has going. Played by Jake Nightingale, Sir Lancelot was easily one of my favorite knights. And once his characters sexuality was confirmed, he played it up to the best of his ability. And, man, it was some funnnny stuff.
Sir Robin, the Not-Quite-So-Brave-as-Sir-Lancelot: An extremely funny coward. He also knows quite a bit about musical theater. Which comes in handy. Played by Ross Dawes, Sir Robin was hilarious. Such a freaking coward, and his song “You Wont Succeed On Broadway” was so funny he had people in the audience crying (from laughter that is).
Sir Dennis Galahad, The Dashingly Handsome: Can be referred to as ‘the knight formerly known as Dennis Galahad, a politically active peasant’. Until the Lady of the Lake gets her hands on him. Played by Michael Xavier, Dennis was my favorite knight from the beginning. When he sings with the Lady of the Lake… it was amazing. He has a beautiful voice and really mastered the whole “pretty boy/ manly diva” thing. Genius.
Sir Bedevere, The Strangely Flatulent: Kind of self explanatory, no? Played by Adam Stafford. Umm, I don’t think he had a real line apart from singing. At least I don’t remember any….
Patsy: King Arthur’s faithful servant/steed and constant companion. He is part Jewish which comes in handy. Played by Andrew Spillet. Patsy was so cute and nice and fun. I liked him lots and lots.
The Lady of the Lake: An aquatic diva. “Part fairy, part diva and all woman.” The Lady of the Lake is probably the one role on Broadway I would actually have the guts to audition for I want to play her so badly. The understudy was actually on at our performance and she was unbelievably talented. I used to wish I could sing like Sherie Renee Scott (if you aren’t big into theater, you probably don’t know who she is. But, yeah, she rocks). Now she is second to Amy Field. I can’t even begin to describe what her voice was like. All I can use are really repetitive adjectives like “awesome” and “brilliant” and “fantastic” and “superb” and other words that don’t do it justice. I could go on about how funny and talented she is… but I think this is already boring enough.
Not-Dead Fred: His name is Fred. He’s not dead (yet). He’s getting better. Then poor Fred dies. Aww Not-Dead Fred. He was really funny. Until he died. Then he was even funnier.
Prince Herbert: Loves to sing and “is about as butch as Minnie Mouse.” Played by Gerard Carey. Completely awkward and totally awesome.
French Taunters: French soldiers who enjoy taunting. They also liked to fart in our general direction. Definitely added humor to the play. Oh those crazy Frenchies.
The acting was unbelievable, as mentioned many times above. As were the costumes and the sets were really groovy. As for the songs:
Overture: It’s the overture. Not much to say. Instruments do their thaang.
Historian’s Introduction to Act I: A fun way to introduce the show. Also a very clever use of the huge gate on screen.
Finland/Fisch Schlapping Dance: The most random/pointless song that has nothing to do with the actual musical but is still fun to see and sing along with.
Monk’s Chant: It’s called a fun scene transition people.
Not Dead Yet: A fun introduction to Sir Lancelot and Sir Robin.
Come With Me: When we first meet the Lady of the Lake. And it is great.
Laker Girls Cheer: The Lady of the Lake has her “Laker Girls” and they sing a fun song while plain old Dennis Galahad transforms into Sir Dennis Galahad backstage. Basically we call this a time-filler.
The Song That Goes Like This: The most amazing song in a Broadway show. Seriously, I had never heard the music to this show before (shocking, I know) and when this song was performed I could not stop laughing. Not only do Michael Xavier’s and Amy Field’s voices sound completely beautiful together, they both have that “diva thing” going on which only adds to the sheer brilliance of the song.
He Is Not Dead Yet – Play Off: Yet another fun scene transition.
All For One: A fun song introducing the other knights. Then they all sing, because they formed a boy band. Because, why not? Did I mention this musical is awesome?
Knights of the Round Table/The Song That Goes Like This (Reprise): What happens in Camelot stays in Camelot. The boys go to Camelot and have fun. Then the Lady of the Lake returns and was obviously imitating Cher. And then she and King A do a little scat. Utterly amazing.
Find Your Grail: I have been singing this song all day. It makes me laugh every time, because it is a somewhat serious song… I mean, they just got their mission from God and all… but even when they are being semi-serious it is hilarious.
Run Away!: A nice scene change/ transition into the intermission. Quite clever.
Historian’s Introduction to Act II: Just a fun little reminder of what happened and an easy way to tell where all the characters are. And that is “a dark and very expensive forest.”
Always Look on the Bright Side of Life: May I just say I have never had so much fun with a Broadway song ever before. Let me paint a picture for you. My sister and I are sitting in the Grand Circle section, and to my right there are about four or so rows filled with men in business suits. And they are rather entertaining because this one guy is crying he is laughing so hard, which is causing everyone to laugh a little louder. Enter this song, that happens to involve whistling (which, sadly, I can not do). Once the chorus comes on, all these men- as well as everyone else pretty much- start singing the chorus and whistling along. It was so funny watching them bob their heads to the left and right.
Brave Sir Robin: A song about how not brave Robin is. But boy do they try and make him sound it.
You Won’t Succeed On Broadway (“You Won’t Succeed in Show Business” in the West End production): This is a song about how you wont succeed on Broadway/ Showbiz if you do not have any Jews. Probably one of the funniest moments of the night. Why? Remember those guys from earlier? One of them happens to be EXTREMELY Jewish. He was laughing so loud I heard him over the entire section we were sitting in. Boy he had a good time.
The Diva’s Lament (Whatever Happened To My Part?): I was sitting there wondering what happened to the Lady of the Lake when this song came on. Like I have said far too many times for one single post, it was extremely funny.
Where Are You?: Prince Herbert, trapped in his room, about to marry the not-love-of-his-life sings out of the window to his love. Which just happens to be Lancelot.
His Name Is Lancelot: Lancelot finally confronts his true sexual identity. Basically he bats for the other team. This song is simply amazing. And fun.
I’m All Alone: King Arthur sings about how lonely he is (even though he has Patsy…who lets his true feelings known as well). This song is actually quite sad when you listen to it on your ipod. When it is performed on stage you just giggle throughout the entire thing, until you actually listen to the words. Quite a sad song all around.
Twice In Every Show: The Lady of the Lake returns and cheers up King Arthur. Then they realize, hey! They are in love! Who would have thought…
Act II Finale: A nice way to tell what happens to each character in about 3 minutes and 29 seconds of dancing and singing.
Always Look On the Bright Side Of Life (Company Bow): They put the words up to the song on a giant screen projected off the main gate of the set and the audience sings along with the cast. Then they do a company bow at the end.
And in case you didn’t catch it the thousand times I said it before, I loved, loved, loved, looooooved this musical.
I think someone should buy me a thesaurus. Seriously.