Tinkering with a property as thoroughly beloved (and memorized) as the 1975 classic Monty Python and the Holy Grail would seem as daunting a task as finding the Grail itself. But in this Broadway musical version all the scenes you remember are back—and better than ever. For example, what could top the irreverence of the scene in which French knights taunt Arthur and his men from the parapets of their castle? How about adding a dance number elaborating on some of the cracks they make? Fans of Monty Python and of Broadway musicals will find lots to laugh about—and plenty of real dancing and singing—in this extremely popular show, which was a hit in New York and has been selling out theaters across the country. Spamalot comes to the Granada for two nights on Tuesday, March 8, and Wednesday, March 9. I spoke with Adam Grabau, who plays Sir Lancelot, by phone last week and he told me his top three reasons to check it out. For tickets, call 899-2222 or visit granadasb.com.
1. It’s Not Just Knights in Armor: “My favorite number is the disco scene,” Grabau told me, describing the scene in which “My Name Is Lancelot” is sung and his character reveals both his sexual orientation and his figure. “For most of the show, I’m sweating in a heavy suit of burlap and acting like a knight, but in that sequence I’m wearing spandex and singing disco. I’m a child of the 1970s, and for me that music is fantastic to perform. It’s from the same period as the original film, and we have a blast with it onstage.”
2. Everybody Loves Arthur and His Men: “It’s so special that these six or seven guys in the original Python troupe should have been capable of literally filling the world with silliness on this grand scale” said Grabau. “Everywhere we go, people remember the movie. It is universally appreciated, and one of the biggest joys of being in Spamalot is seeing just how widely known it is. I play the taunting French knight, and literally all I have to do is poke my head over the wall and instantly the whole theater starts laughing. They recognize the character before he has spoken a line.”
3. It’s a Great Escape: “I feel like one of the reasons that this tour has been doing so well is that people are really in the mood for an escape” said Grabau. “It’s funny, but even though the song ‘Always Look on the Bright Side [of Life],’ which is [King Arthur’s assistant] Patsy’s big number, is supposed to be ironic, it’s also the real message of the show, and people love it.”