REVIEW: ‘Spamalot’ brings lighthearted musical comedy to McCain

Promotional art for the musical "Spamalot."

“Spamalot,” a musical comedy “lovingly ripped off” from the movie “Monty Python and the Holy Grail,” is as ridiculous as it is enjoyable and sure to be appreciated by fans and newcomers alike.

Now considered a modern classic by many, “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” parodies the legend of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table.

“Spamalot,” however, takes it a step further, pulling the audience into a uproarious parody of both the medieval as well as the theatrical.

One thing that makes “Spamalot” unique as a show is the range of humor it espouses. Though it included a liberal amount of crude, elementary humor, it also includes valid social commentary from the lowly peasant Dennis. Outraged by the injustice of monarchy, his character earned many laughs with the line, “strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government!”

A recurrent theme “Spamalot” relishes in is breaking the fourth wall, often alluding to the ridiculousness of combining a story from the Middle Ages with the raucous Broadway spectacle.

In no instance was this more apparent than in rendition of “The Song That Goes Like This.” In a cast featuring a male-lead majority, Leslie Jackson was positively radiant as the self-professed diva, The Lady of the Lake.

“Spamalot” comes to a close with the high-spirited anthem, “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life.” This familiar tune casts an uplifting note on the whole show, reminding the audience that despite all the ridiculous realities of life there is always something humorous to be found.

It was incredibly surprising at the curtain call to see just how few people were actually in what seemed like an enormous cast. Almost all of the performers were playing several characters, but you wouldn’t even know due to the costuming effects and their acting skills. This is typical in most Broadway shows, but nonetheless impressive to see the breadth of the talent in the cast.

Ultimately, “Spamalot” proved once again that the McCain Performance Series is an excellent way to enjoy top-notch Broadway entertainment without the NYC price tag.

Rebecca Vrbas is junior in journalism. The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Collegian. Please send comments to

My name is Rebecca Vrbas. I’m the culture editor at the Collegian and a junior in journalism and mass communications. My hobbies include obsessing over an ever-expanding pool of musicals and cats (not the musical). I love writing because of the infinite intricacy of language, as well as its power to cultivate a sense of community through sharing experiences.