Vulcan’s Peak

Now, for something completely different.

January 16, 2008 11:56 pm

Spamalot! So much fun.

The strength and challenge of this show is that it is so closely based on the cult-favorite film. The very mention of swallows and the first hint of a French accent got huge laughs long before a punchline was even suggested. But though some scenes are almost verbatim from Holy Grail, the story has been slightly restructured so that it can be a musical! (jazz hands!) Scenes from the movie that feature Random Person #53 become scenes about the knights — Lancelot and Robin are in the “bring out yer dead” scene (and then go off to enlist as Arthur’s knights), and the “help, help I’m being oppressed” peasant is transformed by the Lady of the Lake into Sir Galahad.

The Lady of the Lake turns out to be (A) everywhere, (B) Guinevere, and (C) a huge ham! Most of her songs are very meta-theatrical — she has three versions of “The Song That Goes Like This,” in which she explains that it is time for the lover’s duet that ends with a kiss or the torchy ballad or what have you. And naturally she marries Arthur at the end to fulfill that box on the formula checklist (no ambiguous semi-ending this time!)

Of course the Camelot dance sequence is still there, but much bigger! …And Camelot is basically Vegas. Best use of coconuts: Arthur joins a row of tap-dancing knights, but instead of dancing, he just sticks out a foot and Patsy does the taps! Clever.

I was also intrigued by how they pulled off some of the stunts, particularly ones that involve the loss of limbs! The Black Knight was very barrel-chested and if you watched closely, you could see him wriggle his arm out of the sleeve and into his armor — then the arm detaches, with a handful of red ribbons trailing out for blood. Other arm was the same — Arthur and the Knight positioned themselves so that both of their sword hilts were close together, so Arthur was actually holding both swords while the Knight got his real arm out of the way. But for the legs, they moved to the corner of the stage I couldn’t see (my philosophy of seeing more shows by buying the cheap seats occasionally backfires — though more less often than you might think), so I have no idea exactly how they did the legs.

A completely different sort of stunt: the Lady of the Lake had this fabulous dress that started out blue with white trim, and when she barely shrugged her shoulders, a layer of fabric flipped around to turn the gown into her white wedding dress!

After the curtain call, the audience was invited to join in a reprise of “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life” (shamelessly stolen from Life of Brian and inserted into the beginning of Act II with more tap dancing knights!), complete with lyrics projected onto the many clouds hanging from the flies! I had a blast.

3 Responses to “Now, for something completely different.”

Tae wrote a comment on January 23, 2008

Damn, now I wanna see it even more than before. I love “Diva’s Lament” (I have it on my comp) so that amuses me about the Lady of the Lake. 😀

Odette wrote a comment on January 26, 2008

Aww! 🙂 Maybe it’ll tour to a location near you sometime in the not-too-far-future!

Crunch wrote a comment on January 27, 2008

Spamalot was in Dallas last year. Maybe it’ll come back

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