Seeing Spamalot on Broadway Should Be Your Destiny

Holy grail – Spamalot is back on Broadway! 

The 2023 revival started its quest in D.C. at The Kennedy Center before making its way through the scary (and expensive) woods to the St. James Theatre on 44th Street, right in the heart of the theatre district. As a self-proclaimed connoisseur of musical comedies, Spamalot quickly made its way to the top of my “to see” list. When my good friend sent me a very excited text that tickets were available, there was no hesitation in making plans.

For those who aren’t as familiar, Spamalot is a musical comedy based on Monty Python and the Holy Grail, which was originally inspired by Camelot and the tale of King Arthur. If you’re a part of the theatre community, this was especially well-timed after Aaron Sorokin’s Camelot revival from the spring. If you’re a Disney Parks fan, I do feel it’s important to note the show was written by Eric Idle, the actor who plays Dr. Nigel Channing on Journey into Imagination with Figment and is semi-famous on Disney Twitter for writing a particular tweet about a certain purple dragon (yes, you know which one I’m talking about). Spamalot began its original Broadway run in 2005 at the Shubert Theatre and closed in 2009.

Despite coming from long and what might be “boring” original source material to some (Camelot), Spamalot packs quite the comedic punch. Without giving too much away, many of your favorite lines and moments from the original Holy Grail moment have been adapted for the stage, and plenty of new elements and sequences are added, too. The Knights of Ni, the Taunting French, and more are all back on stage with new, modern spins. The cast is also well-known for their comedic talents, but still manage to impress. Leslie Rodriguez Kritzer especially stands out as the Lady of the Lake, balancing a killer vocal display with impeccable comedic delivery – a true feat and a performance worthy of a Tony nomination. The full cast is led by James Monroe Iglehart, Nik Walker, Taran Killam, Christopher Fitzgerald, Michael Urie, Jimmy Smagula, and Ethan Slater, and each brings a memorable and masterful approach to their characters (yes, you read plural correctly; many of the cast members play multiple characters). 

One of the most surprising things about the show, however, was not only how it wasn’t dead yet, but rather, more alive than ever. In fact, one of the characters actually explicitly jokes about how a particular scene will still be controversial in a couple of thousand years in the second act. I was a little hesitant going in about how some of the jokes might’ve aged, or if I would’ve understood all of them since I am on the younger side of the target audience, but the jokes were all updated to include nods to moments as recent as this year. That’s right, TikTok, Patti LuPone yelling at audience members, and the recent Funny Girl revival starring Lea Michelle are all referenced. Plus, the show does include some improv every night, so you’ll never get exactly the same show twice.

As a whole, the show felt a lot like if you took a Monty Python base,  then added every Broadway trope, and slapped it all together, but all the elements just aligned perfectly to form a belly-hurting, good-time musical comedy. If you’re looking for a show to satisfy lovers of classic musicals and comedies alike, Spamalot is a perfect fit. It is absolutely silly on the surface, but Spamalot demonstrates so well how parody can be so masterfully executed.

Have a terrific day!

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