Performance Review: Spamalot

The Broadway version of Spamalot won three Tonys. But can the touring edition win over our critic?

The Broadway version of Spamalot won three Tonys. But can the touring edition win over our critic?

Spamalot by Eric Idle, from the screenplay for Monty Python and the Holy Grail
Directed by Mike Nichols

Starring lots and lots of people

10 words or less The Holy Grail made even sillier by adding music.

Strengths … This is one hands-down winner of a musical. It’s charming and witty, silly and lewd. It’s Monty Python’s Holy Grail set to music, for goodness’ sake! What aspersion could be said, what stone cast, I ask you? You’ve got your sketch comedy laden with innuendo and ribald humor, your Broadway musical send-up, the obligatory big Vegas numbers, and sight gags a-plenty. In a nutshell, you’ve got yourself a live-action Flying Circus.

Weaknesses … The only way this show could be better is if they hauled in the cast of the Flying Circus to pull it off. Oh, and while I loved the Academy as a venue on one hand, I hated it as well, thanks to the two large gentlemen cartoonishly plopped down and squeezed into the historic (read: tiny, in need of replacement) seats directly in front of companion and self, thus blocking out half the show. 

Verdict … As said companion put it, "You’re not gonna miss anything if you go to the bathroom — they’re still singing and dancing when you return." A ready-made good time, complete with a flying cow.

At the Academy of Music through August 31st.