Views on pop culture through my eyes

Spamalot: Fun at the Bowl

Monty Python’s Spamalot
Saturday, August 1, 2015
Hollywood Bowl

Starring:
Kevin Chamberlin, Sir Bedevere / Dennis Galahad’s Mother / Concorde
Merle Dandridge, The Lady of the Lake
Warwick Davis, Patsy / Mayor / Guard 2
Tom Deckman, Not Dead Fred / Prince Herbert / Minstrel / French Guard
Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Sir Robin / Guard 1
Rick Holmes, Sir Lancelot / French Taunter / Knight of Ni / Tim the Enchanter
Eric Idle, the Historian
Craig Robinson, King Arthur
Christian Slater, Sir Galahad / Prince Herbert’s Father / The Black Knight

BT McNicholl, director
Todd Ellison, conductor
Casey Nicholaw, original choreography

Scott Taylor and Billy Sprague Jr., choreography adaptation and re-staging

Book & Lyrics by Eric Idle
Music by John Du Prez & Eric Idle

Songs performed:

Act I

Tuning, Overture, “Historian’s Introduction to Act I” – Historian; “Finland” / “Fisch Schlapping Dance” – Mayor and Company; “Monk’s Chant” – Company; “King Arthur’s Song” – King Arthur, Patsy; “I Am Not Dead Yet” – Not Dead Fred, Lance, Robin, and Bodies; “Come with Me” – King Arthur, Lady of the Lake, and Laker girls;

“Laker Girls Cheer” – Laker Girls; “The Song That Goes Like This” – Sir Galahad and Lady of the Lake; “All for One” – King Arthur, Patsy, Sir Robin, Sir Lancelot, Sir Galahad and Sir Bedevere; “Knights of the Round Table” – Company; “The Song That Goes Like This” (Reprise) – Lady of the Lake; “Find Your Grail” – Lady Of The Lake and Company; “Run Away!” – Company; The Intermission

Act II

“Historian’s Introduction to Act II” – Historian; “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life” – Patsy, King Arthur, Knights, and Knights of Ni; “Brave Sir Robin” – Sir Robin and Minstrels; “You Won’t Succeed on Broadway” – Sir Robin and Ensemble; “Whatever Happened to My Part?” – Lady Of The Lake; “Where Are You?” – Prince Herbert; “Here Are You” – Prince Herbert; “His Name is Lancelot” – Sir Lancelot, Prince Herbert, and Ensemble; “I’m All Alone” – King Arthur, Patsy, and Knights

“Twice in Every Show” – Lady Of The Lake and King Arthur; “Act II Finale: I Am Not Dead Yet (Reprise) / Find Your Grail (Reprise) / The Song That Goes Like This (Reprise II)” – Company; “Bows: Always Look on the Bright Side of Life (Reprise)” – Company and Audience

Comments:
The Tony Award-winning best musical “Monty Python’s Spamalot” was the Hollywood Bowl’s summer musical this year. It played for 3 nights, and featured a all-star cast featuring stars of stage, film and TV. It was based on the movie “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” and tells the story of King Arthur and the knights of the round table. This was my 2nd time seeing the show — I had previously seen a small production of the show 2 years before.

Hollywood Bowl - Spamalot  Photo by Craig T. Mathew/Mathew Imaging

Hollywood Bowl – Spamalot
Photo by Craig T. Mathew/Mathew Imaging

Knowing how fun this show was and how catchy the songs are, I knew I had to see this production. So you got to see Craig Robinson (Hot Tub Time Machine, This the the End), Christian Slater (Interview with the Vampire) and Jesse Tyler Furgeson (Modern Family) among others — singing and dancing for our enjoyment.

Every production I have seen before at the Bowl has been very memorable — I saw Rent and Hairspray previously at this venue. From this production, I got a better idea of what the Broadway version must have been like, because of the high production values. There were a lot more sets, costumes and dancers than the production I had seen previously. It was almost like it was another show. And add in the fact that the show lends itself to plenty of pop culture references… so those were updated from when I saw it too.

There was a big dance number with the King and his knights… with fake tap dancing sounds added to the mix. Then there was a gag added during the time in the forest that included the lyrics to “Uptown Funk” by Bruno Mars and Mark Ronson. Plus with the gay wedding in Act 2, they added that it would still be controversial 1000 years later too. They even joked about the California drought during the part of the show where the knights had to find a shrubbery.

The outer rim of the Bowl was used as a backdrop for some great visuals that were projected onto it… to create a forest, a church, a Las-Vegas inspired Camelot and much more. The walkway near the pool section of the box seats was used several times during the night… with the knights walking across it, and the Lady of the Lake doing her big solo number in the 2nd act too.

It was cool to have one of the original Monty Python troupe in this production (Eric Idle) — since he is one of the writer’s of the show. Broadway veteran Merle Dandridge played the diva role of the Lady in the Lake like she was born into royalty.

I also loved the part where the knights went to the French castle and the guard taunted them… with his head bopping around the edges of the ups and downs of the castle top — that was pretty inspired.

Song and performance highlights for me were: “The Song That Goes Like This”, “Find Your Grail”, “You Won’t Succeed on Broadway” and the rousing finale “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life.”

Thanks to the cast and crew for another fun show at the Bowl.

KiltManinSoCal is a Los Angeles-based writer and designer. Be sure to check out the latest T-Shirts for sale here, including Marriage Equality and Real Men Wear Kilts lines. They make great gifts for friends, family and loved ones.

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