T-shirt #271 - Spamalot
Hello again and welcome to another post that has to do with comic books. Okay, just kidding. This one is supposed to be about theatre. The adaptation to the stage as musical of the film Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
Never fear. I plan to share a few videos. But that will have to wait until after the blog recap.
Though I plan to pack in quite a bit more than just comic book content here as I have been slowly assembling this entry for a few days. Do you like to know that I am working that far in advance?
Looking into the stats, I see the post for Firefly claiming large numbers of views, along with the post on Feist, Winter is Coming, and the Daredevil shirt.
But the post that keeps showing up at the top of the list both for the day, the week, and now atop the all-time top viewed page list is T-shirt #241: Advice from a Volcano. On the all time list, this post has claimed the top spot with 288 page views and rising (more every day). I cannot figure out why this post is so popular. Someone help me out. Click the link. Take a look. Leave me a comment.
If you look at the post, it features the kind of content that I figure is only interesting to me. I start out explaining my day off (Nov. 17th) and my intention to watch the Lions game. I can't imagine that the sole mention of the Detroit Lions is causing all the page views. I go on to describe "The Blog Journey." I believe that this is my first post in "The Blog Journey" category. I write about my surgery, the Veronica Mars Kickstarter, and the Rules of Chris, none of which would spike the count. Next, I perform a blog recap, explaining the statistics much as I am doing here except that I copied the grids and links from the Blogger statistics pages, which I suspect may be the reason that the page is getting so many views. This is my working theory at least. I close with the text from the shirt and then some random facts, including a fantssy sports recap and a kimchi update. I also include a link that Doris Lessing has died, which may be a partial reason for the number of views. After all, the number of views may be due to multiple reasons. After all, I mention The clash, The Fantastic Four, Darth Vader, and provide links for all. I also have links to all the most popular posts on my page. If the hits are doing double-duty, this would account for the increased views on this page.
So, here's an experiment. If my theory is right that the Blogger statistics grid is what is driving up the page counts, then if I paste in another Blogger page grid to this post, it should rise in the page views stats as well. So here goes.
This is the all time list for my blog. When I posted this grid T-shirt #241: Advice from a Volcano, Isher Artifacts had the top spot with 218 views. HOLD ON. How can the page views go down over a month's time? If you look back that the Volcano post and compare to this grid, you will find that other number are off. The Batgirl post lost one view. ODD.
In any case, we shall see if my pasting of the grid is what's driving the page views or if there's lots of people on the Internet searching for blogs about volcanoes.
The Blog Journey continues. The process of self-discovery is very much tied to the popularity of some posts over others. Saturday's post with pictures of the puppy was immediately, wildly popular.
On to other subjects.
MONTY PYTHON AND THE HOLY GRAIL and SPAMALOT
I do not have that many shirts that are specifically dedicated to theatre (which I prefer to spell the European way). I discussed one of my most beloved musicals in T-shirt #91: Jesus Christ Superstar. In that post, I made a list of favorite musicals and quite forgot Spamalot.
I next visited the subject of theatre in one of my most popular posts, one that for some time held a place in the top five all time posts: T-shirt #125: Hair and the Barn Theatre. Spamalot earned a mention in this post, though I did not create a new ranked list of favorite musicals. I should revise the list and include Spamalot.
The only reason I had Scrooge in the top ten is because I played Scrooge in my high school's production of it in 1979.
CHRIS TOWER'S TOP FIVE FAVORITE STAGE MUSICALS
1. Jesus Christ Superstar
2. A Chorus Line
Second five (to round out the top ten)
6. Sweeney Todd
7. Forever Plaid
9. The Rocky Horror Show
10. The Who's Tommy
Spamalot beats out The Rocky Horror Show because honestly, I love Monty Python and the Holy Grail more. In the least years when I participated in the floor show at local midnight showing of Rocky, my friend Steve and had started doing bits from Holy Grail because we were both quite sick of Rocky Horror by then.
I am including my review from the Barn's production of Spaamlot in 2012 on the page today.
I saw Spamalot in 2004 during the previews in Chicago with the stellar cast described below. I was surprised that one of the best scenes from Monty Python and the Holy Grail, the witch scene, was omitted from Spamalot. Other than that bizarre omission, I rather like Spamalot A LOT.
In closing, after my review from last year, I will post some of my favorite scenes from Monty Python and the Holy Grail and the one Spamalot song that I think is very clever (assuming I can find it on YouTube).
Thanks for reading today, especially if you returned after I posted an incomplete blog entry yesterday (which is today according to the date of this blog).
a production of the Barn Theatre
at the Barn Theatre, Augusta, MI
Attended Date: August 14, 2012
reviewed by Christopher Tower
The Barn Theatre continues piloting the rocket of its successful 2012 season with one of the best musical comedies of the last decade: Monty Python’s “Spamalot.” Riding the jet-fueled power of a fantastic company, a strong direction team, and tight orchestra, the Barn Theatre once again proves to local audiences that professional theater is a live and soaring to ever greater heights in the Augusta twilight.
Audiences roared with delightful laughter from the first lines of “Spamalot” during Tuesday’s opening night performance, and once the show concluded, the loyal patrons leapt to their feet in enthusiastic appreciation rather than the usual standing, “we’re ready to leave”-type ovations often delivered for the curtain calls.
The Barn more than proves its mettle with a production of
“Spamalot” that has already garnered many accolades. “Spamalot” is the brainchild of Python comedian Eric Idle who teamed with John Du Prez and Neil Innes to “lovingly rip off” the 1975 film “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” as a Broadway musical. The show started in previews in Chicago in 2004 and soon traveled to Broadway in 2005 with an all-star cast, including Tim Curry, David Hyde Pierce, Hank Azaria, and Sara Ramirez. Helmed by Mike Nichols, the show won three Tony Awards, including Best Musical. Since then, it has toured nationally twice, and productions have been launched in nine different countries. Though some Pythons have criticized it as “Python-lite,” the show played over 1500 performances in its initial Broadway run and reaped nearly two hundred million dollars, placing it among the all-time highest grossing box office gems.
With few exceptions, the story follows the flimsy though well-loved plot of the 1975 film. King Arthur (Fee Waybill) “rides” through England circa 923 A.D. with the help of his faithful servant Patsy (Roy Brown), who bangs two coconut shells together to simulate horse’s hooves. The musical better integrates the sketch-comedy mind-set of Monty Python into a cohesive plot; thus, the peasants who engage Arthur in political debate become Galahad (Lance Fletke) and Bedevere (Nick Pearson),
and the two soldiers who discuss how swallows might bring tropical coconuts to England become Sir Robin (Kevin Robert White) and Lancelot (Patrick Hunter).
Some of the songs featured in the film, such as “Knights of the Round Table” and “Brave Sir Robin” are converted and expanded for the musical while other classic film scenes evolve into songs, such as “He Is Not Dead Yet” sung by the plague victims and Not Dead Fred (Matthew D. Wiggin) from the “Bring Out Your Dead” sketch and a trio of songs sung by Prince Herbert (Ethan Eichenbaum). The show also borrows from Monty Python’s “Life of Brian” with Eric Idle’s signature tune “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life.” Other songs are added for comic effect and parody Broadway musicals, such as “You Won’t Succeed on Broadway (If You Don’t Have Any Jews),” “The Song That Goes Like This,” and “The Diva’s Lament,” in which the Lady of the Lake (Amy Harpenau) complains about the show’s plot and her role: “whatever happened to my part?”
Though the famous witch burning scene was cut during the original Chicago preview, most of the other famous “Holy Grail” sketches remain, including the taunting French soldiers, performed brilliantly and principally by Jamey Grisham. Other great sketches include The Knights Who Say Ni (Charlie King), Tim the Enchanter (Steven Lee Burright) and the killer rabbit, and the father of Prince Herbert (Ricky Philippi) marrying off his son Herbert for “huge tracts of land” featuring the ingenious confusion with his guards (Nic Balario and Matthew D. Wiggin).
The Barn’s production is masterfully overseen by Hans Friedrichs, who is proving to be one of the summer theater’s best directors. Jamey Grisham provides hilarious choreography, especially during the Laker Girls sequence and the “You’re Gay” sketch with Lancelot. John Jay Espino guides the five-piece, veteran orchestra masterfully as he has done all season.
The cast also proves its professional pedigree yet again with stellar performances, most notably Roy Brown’s rendition of “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life” and Kevin Robert White’s hilarious “You Won’t Succeed on Broadway (If You Don’t Have Any Jews).” Ethan Eichenbaum’s Prince Herbert is a standout of hilarity as is the work of Grisham, Burright, and Charlie King.
Amy Harpenau sings her guts out, quite literally, with a devilishly campy and wonderfully over-acted performance in songs that run crazy scales up and down the register and mix styles in goofy ways. Fee Waybill joins Harpenau well with a bluesy segment of the show’s power number: “Find Your Grail,” and his straight-man “I’m All Alone” song works very well as Patsy (Brown) reacts comically around him.
The evening finishes with a musical revue bar show so much in demand that seats were sold out on opening night. The Barn’s production of “Spamalot” is top rate from start to finish, and the audience eats it up like “a lot” of yummy spam. Don’t miss it!!
I am sure that every single person reading my blog has seen Monty Python and the Holy Grail at least once. If you have not seen it, this is something to dedicate yourself to IMMEDIATELY. If you do not have time to go get and watch the movie, then check out these favorite scenes of mine. If you have seen the movie, you will surely enjoy seeing these scenes again. I will try to keep my set of videos here to a minimum, but I would rather post the ENTIRE MOVIE, obviously. heh. "Obviously." Guard scene.
There's no reason that this scene should have been left out of Spamalot. Very silly. It's one of my very favorite bits in Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Classic John Cleese: "She turned me into a newt" following the longest pause in comedy film: "I got better."
Hey, I said I would keep it to a minimum. Four is rather a lot, really. THREE. "Five sir." Five!
Sorry. I get carried away thinking about this movie. :-)
If you want to see more, go SEE THE MOVIE.
And now one from Spamalot.
Several of the songs written for Spamalot (IE. not originally included in Monty Python and the Holy Grail) are well done. I especially like "Find Your Grail" and "Whatever Happened to My Part." But the song that struck me as most clever is this one. It's a great satire on musicals. Very funny.
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- chris tower - 1312.17 - first published - 20:07
Completed - 1312.18 - 9:41