Wednesday, August 15, 2007

But I Don't Like SpamALot!

And now for something completely different: a review of sorts. You might call this a warning to Monty Python fans more than anything else, though.

I went yesterday to see a production of the musical "Spam a Lot". I've been a giant fan of the Pythons and their films and show for years, as has my husband. The tickets were a gift from his mother and father to us for the holidays last year. The older couple actually joined us because my sister in law is out of the state right now and she couldn't use her two tickets they had also purchased her.

The musical started out famously with the opening scene I remember and love so well. Coconuts, sparrows - what more could I desire? It seemed this was going to be a wonderful show and I settled back to enjoy myself. What was my horror on finding the rest of the plot completely skewed and twisted from the movie and, worse yet, Americanized.

I do realize the production would not have "made it big" in the United States if they used entirely British humor, for it's an acquired taste. What I do oppose is the flagrant warping of everything the Pythons were about in some slapdash musical that had no qualms about luring fans in with promises of "Python goodness". It was abominable. The plot was twined together in as smooth a way as they could do I suppose, with making the knights people that were otherwise minor characters in the movie. They "find" these people in the case of Sir Galahad, making use of the political Denis in the movie (surprise, that's really Galahad). They then tart things up with the Lady of the Lake in a song all about "making him a man" when Galahad is supposed to be chaste.

This is a trend throughout the musical. 'Scantily dressed girls for the win' seems to be their idea, but it was done in such a way that it wasn't funny. It saddened me and even made me angry to see the constant flesh for flesh's sake bits. The song they actually sing in the movie during the Camelot scene is ruined, among other things, by jiggling mounds of jello shaped like breasts carried by Vegas Showgirls ("round" table, get it? Camelot is a casino, of course).

I noticed my mother in law (who dislikes Monty Python) was laughing - at the non-Monty Python parts. Key point, there. This is why they added all those scenes with "Jews", half naked girls and oh yes, let's not forget the (surprise again) gay Launcelot, complete with sequined crotch piece and flamenco dancers. The addition of these parts had this "Monty Python Musical" tasting like a Mel Brook's film from start to finish than a good solid Python fling.


I had to wash my mind to get the flavor out. Thank goodness that "Aqua Teen Hunger Force Movie Colon Film for Theaters" came out that same day.

It was much more satisfying.

In short, "Spam-a-Lot" ruined my love of "Monty Python and the Holy Grail"; I won't be watching it for some time because all I can think of is the inane musical numbers and boobs flashing in front of my face.

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