Its not every day that one gets to enjoy a Broadway musical. “Spamalot,” Eric Idle’s glorious yet silly adaption of the Python’s second movie, “Monty Python and the Holy Grail,” could not have been a more perfect 4oth birthday present for this Python fan.
Over 40 years ago King Arthur and his coconut shell clapping comrades set out on their quest for the Holy Grail. That quest calls again. Putting the “round” in “Round Table,” cult classic “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” comes full circle with a fast tracked Fox film.
Monty Python’s Flying Circus
Infamous British comedy troupe Monty Python first irreverently burst onto the BBC in 1969. For five years Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Michael Palin produced absurdly humorous sketch comedy, “Monty Python’s Flying Circus,” for the small screen.
Between 1971 and 2014 the Pythons brought their British comedic genius to movie theaters with 6 sensational yet silly cinema releases. “Monty Python and the Holy Grail,” arguably the most popular of these motion picture masterpieces, massacred Arthurian legend in 1975.
Fans of the film (and group, and maybe even dead parrots) easily recall and even reenact memorable Holy Grail moments. Numerous DVD and Blu-Ray editions taunt collectors at almost every anniversary of the cult classic.
From Film to Live Theater
Python’s knightly knock off arrived, in live musical form at off-Broadway stage, Shubert Theater in 2005 (after a year’s performance at Chicago’s theater of the same name). Now entitled “Spamalot,” musical numbers, new scenes and gags delighted audiences with over 1500 performances until the show closed on January 11, 2009. Brilliant book, super silly song and familiar comedy blended perfectly. Adding to the allure, Tim Curry gave life to King Arthur and John Cleese recorded the voice of God.
“Spamalot” made its way around the globe with three North American tours, three UK tours as well as tours in Spain and Australia from 2009-2017. King Arthur and his singing knights won awards for Best Musical (Tony), Outstanding Musical and Outstanding Lyrics (Drama Desk) and Best Musical Show Album (Grammy).
From Musical to Motion Picture
Fox will rush “Spamalot” to movie theaters. Casey Nicholaw (“Book of Mormon,” “Aladdin”), who choreographed the musical’s Broadway production, takes charge as director of the Eric Idle written adaptation. Casting has yet to be announced.
“The musical was based on the Arthurian legend that informed the 1975 classic Monty Python and the Holy Grail, and insiders said this of the movie’s ambition: It’s more than just an adaption, it’s the movie musical based on the Broadway musical, based on a movie that is based on the legend.” –Deadline
I was very fortunate to find my Grail, five three times (once at the Shubert and twice on tour). The opportunity to see “Spamalot” as a motion picture and then, after its Blu-Ray/DVD release, at home has me once again feeling not quite dead yet, in fact I feel happy.
Are you looking forward to seeing “Spamalot” in movie theaters? What is your favorite “Monty Python and the Holy Grail/Spamalot” scene?