Tuesday, January 25

Day at the Theater

On Saturday Alex and I were on the Island of Galveston, Texas to see a musical at The Grand 1894 Opera House, named such because it was built in 1894 and it is very grand. The main stair case with its carved wooden rails is a wonderful reminder of the craftsmanship of a different era when stage and hall were built for architectural ascetics and not optimal acoustics or prime audience viewing. All the better though because the way musicals are priced now-a-days one can buy a small yacht for what it costs to see a show. With more than a handful of obstructed view sets Alex and I were able to see Monty Python hysterics set to music – and a rather nice pillar - for a mere $40.

I admit that I was skeptic when I first heard that Eric Idle was going to turn Monty Python’s greatest motion picture triumph, The Holy Grail, into a musical. Boy was I dead wrong. Spamalot is fresh and hilarious while staying true to the original Python voice and it tells a story that both Alex and I love.

Alex enjoys seeing the Black Knight become a quadruple amputee and we both laugh listening to The Lady of the Lake croon about her missing part. When theater is working, really working, we find it hasn’t changed much since Shakespeare even if a line like Lancelot likes to dance a lot would not have played well on Broadway during Roger’s and Hammerstein’s day. All of the business and politics of the world is left in the lobby. We take our seats and wait with great anticipation for the curtain to rise. For two and a half hours we are putty in the actors’ hands, crying, laughing - and even singing - right along with them; creating something beyond the human realm of understanding. They are presenting us with part of their soul and we give them part of ours in return.

3 comments:

lgsquirrel said...

You did a great job selling the play. I would go see it if I had the opportunity. But then, I am already a big fan of Monty Python. Did they have the scene where the knight applies "science" to trial a witch?

The Bug said...

Oh that sounds like GREAT fun. I should see if it's going to be anywhere around here - Dr. M would LOVE it. My kingdom for a shrubbery!

Katy said...

They did not play out the witch scene, but if you look closely you will see that they did pay homage to it. And really I think that is where Spamalot does well. If it were simply the movie acted out in front of the audienace I don't think it would be as fresh and adventurous. They did rework some key moments and reimagined various characters to form a tighter overall story. So its a great tribute but overall an original work.