Monday, November 14, 2011

Boise Laughsalot at Spamalot

Posted By on Mon, Nov 14, 2011 at 12:34 PM

Boise State fans just about had a heart attack on Nov. 12, when a missed field goal cost the team its undefeated record. But that wasn't the only medical emergency on campus that evening.

Over at the Morrison Center, guts were being busted at a performance of Monty Python's Spamalot.

The show is based on the cult comedy classic film Monty Python and the Holy Grail, which follows a horseless King Arthur on his quest to find the Holy Grail and assess the velocity of a swallow. While the play re-stages many of the film's best scenes and catchphrases, it is arguably superior to the film, as so many of the film's best gags were based on a slapstick absurdity best-suited for the stage. For example: the infamous battle with The Black Knight, who ends the scene on the ground, limbless and demanding Arthur return so that he can "bite his legs off." Seeing his arms actually drop onto the stage, trailing bright red ribbons behind them makes it even funnier when he proclaims: "It's just a flesh wound."

But the staged version deviates greatly from the film's plot, with Arthur's quest requiring him to produce a Broadway musical, something that won't exist for 1,000 years in a country that hasn't yet been discovered—and, according to the one of the play's better songs, requires Jews.

With screen projections, a wide cast of floating set pieces and excellent use of meta-comedy, Spamalot is what Monty Python should have been all along. The show even ends with giant sing-a-long as confetti cannons fire into the audience. Spamalot shows it knows what musical theater is really about: pointless, sugary-sweet spectacle.

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