I’d Like To See The Spamalot

Lynne Kiesling

For another depressing thought, although in a more lighthearted vein, we did not get tickets to Spamalot, which opened Tuesday night here in Chicago and is due to run through mid-January before heading off to Broadway.

Its opening has gotten great reviews.

Spamalot, Eric Idle’s new musical “lovingly ripped off” from the cult film Monty Python and the Holy Grail, won a rapturous standing ovation from its first paying audience at the Shubert Theatre in Chicago on Tuesday night.

As an encore, the crowd of Python addicts old and young sang along with Idle’s merry anthem, Always Look on the Bright Side of Life, sneakily smuggled into the show from the comedy troupe’s film The Life of Brian.

One theatregoer brought a stuffed white “Killer Rabbit” as his date. Another wore a crown and a medieval costume with “Spam” emblazoned across the chest. Yet another wore a badge warning onlookers: “I fart in your general direction.”

The Shubert’s gift shop, selling collectors’ edition tins of Spam and “Fetchez la Vache” T-shirts, was swamped as though the Beatles had suddenly descended on the Midwest.

Rafael Ross, a prep school teacher who also runs a school of medieval swordsmanship, said: “I teach Arthurian literature in Miami. We flew up here for this. I show the film to my class and I had to see the show.

“I thought it was wonderful. It was amazing in their ability to stick to the film and yet have so much fun with it.”

And to think that unless they extend the run I’ll have to see it in, I hate to say it, New York … deep, deep sigh. I blame the house, which distracted me from paying attention to the sell date for the tickets.

But I’m very glad that the show is being so well received. Thanks to Arthur’s Seat for sending me the link to the Times review. And yes, you should sing the post title to the tune of “I like to push the pram a lot,” one of the best nonsensical lines from the Camelot song from the Holy Grail.

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