You may choose not to go to Camelot—it is a silly place—but Spamalot is the kind of silly not to miss.
Though most folks are acquainted with at least one joke from Monty Python and the Holy Grail, the movie that this musical "lovingly rips off," this is not solely a show for those of us who have been lobbing holy hand grenades at killer rabbits since childhood. Newbies to Monty Python will bust a (coco)nut laughing as well. The mix of cheeky religious and political humor, slapstick gags and pop-culture references make for an entertaining night.
The story of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table and their search for the Holy Grail is a classic. In Spamalot, it's re-envisioned as a comedy, with Arthur and a motley crew of knights clip-clopping their way across the countryside. They pester anarchic peasants into becoming knights and are in turn pestered by French guards with bovine projectiles, but the knights are unwavering in their sacred quest.
Spamalot, which opened in 2005, draws musical inspiration from Monty Python classics like The Life of Brian, as seen in the cheerful number, "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life." It also parodies the Broadway musical formula in "The Song That Goes Like This" and inserts songs from the 1975 film, like "Brave Sir Robin" and "Knights of the Round Table."
For anyone who has somehow missed the film and some of its ubiquitous jokes, this is a great lesson in one of the funniest and most enduring bits of pop culture. Longtime fans will appreciate the deference given the source material—and the irreverence in handling everything else.