Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Spamalot on Ice

It's 10 degrees in New York and still the hottest ticket in town is Spamalot, the Monty Python, Eric Idle musical shenanigan. We just trudged across the snow-covered, black-iced streets to check the box office and were offered seats for this evening's performance at a mere $310 a pop -- gosh, that's only three times the regular price. Which raises the question: is Monty Python -- nay, is Eric Idle funny if you've paid $620 for a pair of tickets? Add to that that the Booth Theatre is so small that if John Wilkes jumped from this balcony he would not have sprained his ankle.

So we passed on the "opportunity." Two nights later, thousands of miles from wife and family, we tried again -- on Valentine's Day. Sure enough, there had been a few spats earlier in the day -- and a couple of tickets were now available at a much more reasonable, laughable price. We snatched them up and proceeded to our seats. Should this show be a hot ticket? Of course -- and if you see the show, that gives you an idea of how healthy the musical comedy is in the 21st century. My only two complaints: in the first Act, the princess plays her role almost straight and doesn't dip too deeply into the campy style of acting -- and her part works beautifully and hysterically.

Act II, unfortunately, has her show up way over the top, as if to say, "if you didn't know I was here schticking it up earlier, well, I'm here now and I AM really schticking it up." The other complaint will be easily dismissed as time passes: one of the Knights Who Say Nee makes an aside, alluding to our Vice President's hunting skills. I have no issue with poking fun of the VP peppering buckshot in the face of an old man; what bothered me is that the joke is not placed anywhere in particular, does not come from any action or inaction in the performance. It's just delivered, like a bad stand-up comic would throw out material on the Joey Bishop Show.

Otherwise, the show was a hoot and worth a number of howls.

1 comment:

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