Deb (debkitty) wrote,

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Spamalot: The review

Curt and I went to go see Spamalot yesterday afternoon. It was my Christmas present to him.

First, the theater. The Schubert is a beautiful theater. It was well suited to the show - not so small that it felt like a cabaret, but not so large that the balcony seats were in nosebleed heaven. Curt and I sat in the balcony, near the back rows. We were toward the side. I have no problem with the distance from the stage, but we missed some things that happened on the side. If you go, sit in the middle section. (Exception: If you can get seat A 101, TAKE IT! I have no intention of saying why you should take it, but you should.) The balcony was close enough to the ceiling that we could admire the painting. I was very impressed. However, there are poles in certain places of the balcony, presumably to hold it up. This meant that certain seats had seriously obstructed vision. One woman who got one of those seats was apparently throwing a fit "When I bought the tickets, I wasn't told the view would be obstructed!" Be forewarned. I did enjoy the perspective of seeing the show from above. I could see stairs which I suspect the orchestra seats couldn't.

Second, the costumes. The costumes were truly impressive. There is one costume change in Act II which I found particularly impressive. The speed was unbelievable.

Third, the scenery. The scenery looked low budget. It was appropriate for the show, but would never have made it in a Webber show. However, it was cute. When needed, it also made a good backdrop for the animation played. In my opinion, the most impressive (well, cute, anyway) was the scenery on a scroll of fabric. Two actors held the ends, and turned to roll it from one to the other. Very Python-esque.

Fourth, the actors. Tim Curry was King Arthur. Sir Robin was played by David Hyde Pierce, and Lancelot was played by Hank Azaria. Note the difference in the way I phrased things. Tim Curry was obviously Tim Curry. I could hear an occasional tone of Dr Frank-N-Furter, and once I thought I heard the butler from Clue. It was only after I read the Playbill at intermission that I realized who David Hyde Pierce and Hank Azaria played. John Cleese was the voice of God. My newspaper quotes Eric Idle as saying "John (Cleese) plays God. Typecasting."

Fifth, the story. I (although I hate to admit it) am not very familiar with the "Holy Grail" movie, so I didn't know how true to the original it was. Curt, however, knows the movie well. He said that although some dialogue and lines were lifted directly from the movie, the final third of the show was "completely different." He enjoyed the show, as did I. I feel comfortable saying that Spamalot is an enjoyable show for die hard Python fans as well as people who have never seen Python. However, you do need to be able to appreciate the Python humor. Not everyone can.

Finally, the post-show. Get outside to the stage door as soon as you can, and make sure you brought your camera. We apparently missed seeing Tim Curry (we each stopped at the restrooms on our way out), but saw both Hank Azaria and David Hyde Pierce, both of whom were VERY cool - signing Playbills and posters (Spamalot material ONLY), and posing for pictures. I was very impressed with them. They seemed very friendly.

Overall, I found the show to be a lot of fun. I paid about $40 per ticket for the balcony seats. I would have been willing to pay more for seats closer, but I don't think Spamalot could command the $100 plus that some of the more spectacular shows charge. To me, some of the ticket price pays for the spectacle, the scenery, and this appeared low budget, even if it wasn't. Nutshell: Go, see it, enjoy, choose your seats carefully, and remember to "Always look on the bright side of life."


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