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THE BIG JOKE
The big joke in Spamalot is that the whole thing has been reconfigured for a Vegas extravaganza it'll feel right at home in Wynn Las Vegas, especially when King Arthur warns, "Remember, gentlemen: what happens in Camelot, stays in Camelot" or, who'd have imagined it?, a cruise show. An audience member is brought on stage; confetti festoons the crowd; there's everything but a conga line out of the theater.
All this, and the expert work of Tim Curry, David Hyde Pierce, Hank Azaria and Ramirez, well and truly earned Spamalot last year's prize for Best Musical. And it may well sweep the Olivier Awards next spring. Which is fine by me, since I'm as fond of saucy Broadway musicals as of silly-smart British TV comedy. If an impudent young satire like Monty Python and the Holy Grail should mellow into a fat and happy Spamalot, that's just the normal lifespan of transgressive pop culture: first to be dismissed as shocking, then to be accepted as trailblazing and finally to be cherished in dewy memory. The Idle show returns the Python troupe to their music-hall roots, and is a spiffy entertainment on its own near as pleasing as it is pleased with itself.
So am I a fan of Spamalot? I am, I am, I am, a lot.