The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

Performance Review: ‘Spamalot’ is the crown comedy of Broadway

“Spamalot” shines in comedy and in song. (Photo courtesy of Playbill)

The Holy Grail of parodies is back on Broadway – and better than ever.

“Spamalot,” the revival of the Tony Award-winning adaptation of the 1975 classic “Monty Python and the Holy Grail,” has come back to Broadway with a pitch-perfect cast led by James Monroe Iglehart, Leslie Rodriguez Kritzer and Ethan Slater.

Scored by John Du Prez and written by original Monty Python member Eric Idle, “Spamalot” returns to the stage for the first time since 2009 under the guidance of director and choreographer Josh Rhodes.

Taking place in medieval England, the show spoofs the classic legend of King Arthur’s (Iglehart) quest to find the Holy Grail. With the help of his hapless Knights of the Round Table (Taran Killam, Michael Urie, Nik Walter and Jimmy Smagula), his loyal servant Patsy (Christopher Fitzgerald) and the vain and dramatic Lady of the Lake (Kritzer), King Arthur leads a search sprinkled with various misadventures.

I’m a massive Monty Python fan and a religious viewer of the original film, so going into “Spamalot,” I was slightly skeptical. Could a musical adaptation of one of my favorite comedies really work? The answer: of course! Everything I loved about the movie was suddenly right in front of me and I couldn’t help but grin every time I saw one of my favorite jokes play out. Newly added gags also fit right in, including a reference to George Santos’ ever-changing religious status and a Casino-style Camelot dance sequence.

King Arthur, originally played by the late Graham Chapman in the film, is a character who requires balancing an intense sense of gravitas with flawless comedic timing from his actor, and Iglehart is more than qualified for the role. From the moment he arrived on stage to the applause of the entire audience, he commanded the starring role as if he had originated it. For a character that takes himself too seriously, Iglehart gave King Arthur a renewed comedic streak while still paying homage to Chapman’s original performance.

While keeping most of the storyline true to the 70s classic, “Spamalot” brings new humor into the 21st century. One such update is the role of the Lady of the Lake, played by a scene-stealing Leslie Rodriguez Kritzer. One of the funniest songs in the show, “The Song That Goes Like This” is not only a spot-on parody of the cheesy love ballads Broadway shovels down audiences’ throats, but is also a highlight for Kritzer as her comedic and vocal talent absolutely blew me away. If I had to place my bets on a Tony Award nomination for anyone in the cast, it would be Kritzer.

I’ll admit, I went into this show thinking of Ethan Slater, who plays a revolving cast of characters, as Ariana Grande’s boyfriend. However, as I left, I thought nothing of what I’d seen all over my social media feeds. Slater is immensely talented, with effortless comedic timing and a classic Broadway twinkle in his eye every time he steps out on stage. It was a treat to see him in his niche.

I was very impressed by Du Prez and Idle’s ability to capture the essential spirit of Monty Python through the music of “Spamalot.” Although the original film has its melodic moments, it is not technically a musical. However, seeing those moments fleshed out to their full potential was absolutely delightful. Hearing familiar ditties from other Monty Python projects such as “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life” along with new show-stopping numbers such as “Find Your Grail” was as much fun as one can possibly have in 932 A.D.

If there’s anything I took away from “Spamalot,” it’s that the number one rule of the show is to take nothing seriously and be ready for absolutely anything. Any Monty Python fan will surely have a blast with this Broadway sensation.

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About the Contributor
Kristen Vincent, Assistant Culture Editor

Kristen Vincent ‘26 is an English Major and a Government and Law Minor. Aside from writing and editing for the newspaper, she is an EXCEL scholar, Writing Associate, LEO, and Secretary of the English Club. When she is not critiquing the latest biopic about a musician with a legendary past, she can be found working on her latest poem or rustling through the bargain bin at your local record store.

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