Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2010

The Musical Search For The Grail Continues

Monty Pythons SPAMALOT returns to Milwaukee

By Russ Bickerstaff
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More than just an attempt to cash-in on the alarmingly enduring popularity of an old British sketch comedy group, Monty Python’s Spamalot is a really enjoyable night at the theatre. As easy as it is to bemoan the lack of creativity or willingness to take chances on the part of most Broadway producers, the recent fascination with bringing old movies to the musical stage has resulted in a few really entertaining shows. Mel Brooks’ Young Frankenstein and The Producers were both solidly entertaining musical comedies that feel very much like they were written in an era on Broadway when fun, inconsequential comedy could almost reach its own kind of emotional depth. And while it should be pointed out that this era of Broadway musicals probably never actually existed, Eric Idle’s Spamalot did a much better job of packaging a really fun series of comic songs around the plot of an old cult classic comedy. In Spamalot, Eric Idle deftly achieves the level of emotional depth that Brooks’ almost achieves beyond the wacky slapstick of both The Producers and Young Frankenstein.

The show’s eternal search for the holy grail, which has found it wandering all over the country for years now, passes once more through Milwaukee—this time to the Milwaukee Theatre this weekend. The venue is considerable larger and less intimate the Marcus Center, (the musical’s last Milwaukee stage,) but the emotionally compelling staging of this particular musical could easily grow to fill the bigger space.

Monty Python’s Spamalot saunters through town December 10th and 11th at the Milwaukee Theatre. There are two evening shows at 8pm and a 2pm Saturday matinee. For tickets call 1-800-745-3000.


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