SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Lifestyle

June 20, 2013

'Spamalot' clop-clops into Marblehead for music, laughs

Anyone who remembers the 1970s probably knows at least one Monty Python sketch by heart, whether it’s the dead parrot, the lumberjack song, or the Ministry of Silly Walks.

But even people who have never heard of the English comedy group should enjoy “Spamalot,” the 2005 musical based on the troupe’s 1975 movie “Monty Python and the Holy Grail.”

“It has all of the famous moments from the movie,” said Steve Black, director of Marblehead Little Theatre’s upcoming production. “But it’s a great work for fans of the musical theater genre, who may not have the background of the movie. It still works.”

The movie and musical both parody the stories of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, which were compiled by Sir Thomas Malory in the 15th century and have been treated in countless poems, novels and theatrical productions ever since.

Arthur and his knights are searching for the holy grail, the cup that Jesus drank from at the Last Supper, and in Monty Python’s version, their quest becomes a series of hilarious encounters. They are attacked by a killer rabbit, and they encounter knights who say “ni” and demand to be given a shrubbery in exchange for their lives.

Python’s comedy often centers on characters who pursue an absurd premise to its logical conclusion. For example, in a scene that appears in both the movie and the play, a knight in black armor who is guarding a bridge denies he is hurt and continues to fight, even as King Arthur cuts off each of his limbs with a sword.

For Black, that stubbornness has a lot to do with how comedy works.

“For me, comedy originates from deeply developed characters,” he said. “It’s a commitment to portraying that individual person, what makes them tick, what makes them go.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Lifestyle
  • Orchid North Shore Gardener: It’s the summer without hydrangeas August "Fairest of the months! Ripe summer's queen, the hey-day of the year, with robes that gleam with sunny sheen Sweet August doth appear." -- R. Combe Miller Q: Can you tell me why my numerous "Endless Summer" hydrangea plants are not blooming th

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dr. Kate: 8 strategies to help your child overcome a fear of bullies Despite the massive anti-bullying campaigns that dominate our current culture, many students continue to feel bullied. The current anti-bullying campaign focuses on decreasing bullying by policing the bullies, but what about empowering the victims? B

    August 1, 2014

  • booknotes0801 Stroll through a story at Danvers library Reading can be good for the body as well as the mind. That's especially true for visitors of the new StoryWalk at Peabody Institute Library of Danvers. "StoryWalk is combining physical activity with reading," said Karen Veilleux, a children's librar

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • frenkel Quick pick: Bring stories to life Bring stories to life Explore and experience the challenges and satisfactions of combining text with images in a four-session illustration workshop, led by award-winning published illustrator Yetti Frenkel at the Abbot Public Library, 235 Pleasant St

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • TV Outlander [Duplicate] 'Outlander' brings novels to life vibrantly NEW YORK -- There's an odd believability you find inside "Outlander" that somehow makes it feel true-to-life. Never mind that it's a rip-roaring fantasy. Claire, a lovely British Army nurse on a second honeymoon in Scotland, is mysteriously swept fr

    August 1, 2014 4 Photos

  • Dear Abby: Diabetic friend suffers close call miles away from hospital Dear Abby: My husband and I have a lake house and invited a couple (close friends) to join us for a few days. The husband has cancer and has been taking chemo. We wanted them both to rest, as the wife is his only caregiver. We all thought this would

    August 1, 2014

  • People-Alicia Keys [Duplicate] Alicia Keys pregnant with second child NEW YORK (AP) -- Alicia Keys is getting ready for another big release: her second child. A representative for the Grammy-winning performer confirmed Thursday that the singer is pregnant. Keys posted a photo with her baby bump on Instagram early Thurs

    August 1, 2014 2 Photos

  • Friday's Best Bets Best Bets for Friday, Aug. 1

    Looking for something to do today? Here are The Salem News' Best Bets:

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Thursday's Best Bets Best Bets for Thursday, July 31

    Looking for something to do today? Here are The Salem News' Best Bets:

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • homecoming1 Festivals in Salem and Beverly celebrate cities' heritage

    Salem Heritage Days and Beverly Homecoming, both of which start this weekend, are roughly the same age. "This is the 49th year," said Bruce Doig, director of parks and recreation in Beverly. "The most recent form of homecoming started in 1966 as a wa

    July 31, 2014 6 Photos

NDN Video
Comments Tracker