BWW Review: SPAMALOT at Providence Performing Arts Center

BWW_Review_SPAMALOT_at_Providence_Performing_Arts_Center_20010101

Monty Python's Spamalot opened on Broadway in 2005 and won a slew of awards, including a Tony award for "Best Musical".  The show is filled with infinite sight-gags, in jokes for Broadway and Python fans and is chock full of hum-able songs. (Did you know that the 1960 production of Camelot was not even nominated for Best Musical?...how strange.)

You don't have to be a Monty Python fan to enjoy Spamalot, which is playing at The Providence Performing Arts Center through April 17, 2011. The show's subtitle says that it is "lovingly ripped off" from the motion picture Monty Python and the Holy Grail.  I will have to take Eric Idle's word on it, as I have never seen that Monty Python film, or any Monty Python film.  No matter.  There are enough in jokes about pop culture, Lez Miz, Phantom and Lady Gaga to make a Python neophyte feel like he is in on the joke; even if he doesn't quite understand why a carnivorous rabbit is so funny.

King Arthur (Steven McCoy) is on an over-acting quest for the Holy Grail.  He and his long-suffering servant Patsy (Glenn Giron) are trolling the countryside and very expensive forest looking for knights to join the very round table.

The King is joined by a not-very-brave Sir Robin (Martin Glyer), a mama's boy version of Sir Galahad (Jacob L. Smith), and, of course, Lancelot (Adam Grabau), who in this telling, is queer for Prince Herbert (John Garry).

The heavily-armed Christians are watched over by the benevolent and big-voiced Lady of the Lake (Caroline Bowman).

Spamalot makes loving fun of Broadway musicals, while self-awarely using the same overwrought techniques it lampoons - to its own advantage. The Lady of the Lake and Arthur have a sly duet about a "The Song That Goes Like This" and that must appear in every successful [Andrew Lloyd Webber] show.

After a brief absence The Lady of The Lake returns (in a homage 'lovingly ripped off" from Cher) and addresses the audience directly to ask "whatever happened to my part", in 'Diva's Lament'. We know, even before she starts, that Caroline Bowman will nail the number, and she does.  The song is, purposefully I think, the only number that requires a more than passable voice.  The choreography is also intentionally familiar and rote, which keeps the attention on the comedy.

The show acknowledges that to be successful it must end with an uplifting marriage, and not the one between Lancelot and Herbert.  A wedding between Arthur and The Lady of The Lake end the ribald evening.
----
Monty Python's Spamalot, plays at The Providence Performing Arts Center (PPAC) through April 17, 2011. Ticket prices range from $36 - $63 and can be purchased at the PPAC Box Office which is located at 220 Weybosset St., Providence, RI; by calling (401) 421-2787 or at www.ppacri.org.

Photo:  The touring cast of Monty Python's Spamalot.  Photo by Scott Suchman.

Rhode Island Articles More...


Comment & Share

About Author

Subscribe to Author Alerts
Randy Rice Randy Rice currently resides in Providence, RI with his husband Aron. His love affair with live performance began in 1988 when he saw Sammy Davis Jr., Liza Minnelli and Frank Sinatra on a triple-bill at the Worcester Centrum. Since then, he has attended thousands of live performances in every conceivable genre and venue.







 
🔀RHODE ISLAND SHOWS
The Sound of Music in Rhode IslandThe Sound of Music
(Runs 7/25 - 7/25)
Mary Poppins in Rhode IslandMary Poppins
(Runs 7/23 - 8/16)
Run For Your Wife in Rhode IslandRun For Your Wife
(Runs 7/25 - 8/24)
Monty Python's Spamalot
(Runs 8/13 - 8/31)
Monty Python’s Spamalot in Rhode IslandMonty Python’s Spamalot
(Runs 8/20 - 9/7)
Murder at the Howard Johnson's in Rhode IslandMurder at the Howard Johnson's
(Runs 7/31 - 9/14)
And Then There Were None in Rhode IslandAnd Then There Were None
(Runs 9/5 - 9/28)

More Shows | Add a Show

Message Board

BWW BLOGS