SPAMALOT – THE “MONTY PYTHON” MUSICAL THAT GOES LIKE THIS

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By Seán Martinfield
Sentinel Editor and Publisher
Photo by Lynn Imanaka

Monty Python’s SPAMALOT, now at San Francisco’s Golden Gate Theater, is what fans of the classic TV series might expect to find in a contemporary Broadway musical. With its book, lyrics and music by Eric Idle – Spamalot takes its story line from the film, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, and its gags and cues from oft-parodied Python-isms. The production values of this current National Tour reflect the Original Broadway show enough to satisfy the longings of repeat customers and fulfill the dreams of those held captive by unrequited longing.

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SPAMALOT – National Tour Cast. Photo, Joan Marcus

The Opening Night audience was crowded with die-hard loyalists in both camps. The response to the all too familiar and seemingly well-established series of set-ups and punchlines was nothing short of uproarious. Outside this rarified communion – many were discombobulated, bamboozled, befuddled, bemuddled, and befogged. As the film character “Dingo” might have observed, “Yes. Yes, you must give us all a good spanking.”

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The Original Monty Python team, Eric Idle (center, back), 1969

Monty Python’s SPAMALOT is the winner of three 2005 Tony Awards including Best Musical and Best Director for Mike Nichols ( Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf ), as well as the Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle awards for Best Musical. Mike Nichols is acclaimed as one of the great American directors in film, theater and television. He has won the Academy Award and eight Tony Awards. He recently received the Directors’ Guild of America Award for Lifetime Achievement as well as a DGA Award for the direction of the HBO adaptation of Angels In America.

In addition to his work with Monty Python in films and on TV, Eric Idle has written a West End play, Pass the Butler; three novels, including The Road to Mars, The Rutles – A Mockumentary; and a huge repertoire of songs. He has sung opera, acted in movies, appeared on television and crossed America performing comedy on “The Greedy Bastard Tour”. His diary of his 15,000 mile journey by bus, The Greedy Bastard Diary: A Comic Tour of America, was recently published by Harper Collins, and his long awaited sequel, The Rutles 2 – Can’t Buy Me Lunch, was released by Warner Video in March.

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JAMES BEAMAN as Sir Robin – SPAMALOT. Photo, Joan Marcus

Making its California premiere in San Francisco, Monty Python’s SPAMALOT features television star John O’Hurley, best known for his role as “J. Peterman” in the hit television comedy “Seinfeld”. Mr. O’Hurley currently hosts the popular game show “Family Feud.” The musical will play the Golden Gate Theatre through Sunday, July 5th.

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Ben Davis (Sir Galahad), Merle-Dandridge (The Lady of the Lake),
and John O’Hurley (King Arthur).

Re-create SPAMALOT for your friends! Click here to order the KARAOKE (CDG) and the VOCAL SELECTONS.

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Seán Martinfield
Sentinel Editor and Publisher
Seán Martinfield, who also serves as Fine Arts Critic, is a native San Franciscan. He is a Theatre Arts Graduate from San Francisco State University, a professional singer, and well-known private vocal coach to Bay Area actors and singers of all ages and persuasions. His clients have appeared in Broadway National Tours including Wicked, Aïda, Miss Saigon, Rent, Bye Bye Birdie, in theatres and cabarets throughout the Bay Area, and are regularly featured in major City events including Diva Fest, Gay Pride, and Halloween In The Castro. As an Internet consultant in vocal development and audition preparation he has published thousands of responses to those seeking his advice concerning singing techniques, professional and academic auditions, and careers in the Performing Arts. Mr. Martinfield’s Broadway clients have all profited from his vocal methodology, “The Belter’s Method”, which is being prepared for publication. If you want answers about your vocal technique, post him a question on AllExperts.com. If you would like to build up your vocal performance chops and participate in the Bay Area’s rich theatrical scene, e-mail him at: sean.martinfield@comcast.net.

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