Monty Python Spamalot

Adam Grabau (left) as the Knight Who Says Ni and Arthur Rowan (right) as King Arthur. (Scott Suchman, courtesy / January 22, 2013)

“Monty Python’s Spamalot” is returning to Fort Lauderdale for a brief two-fer.

Friday and Saturday only, the parody of the King Arthur legend and skewer of all things Broadway will play the Broward Center.

As the production is fond of saying, the show is “lovingly ripped-off” from the famed British comedy teams’ most popular film, 1975’s “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” (with just a touch – “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life” – from their 1979 movie “Monty Python’s Life of Brian”).

Adam Grabau has been with the road tour of the tune-fest for three years playing Sir Lancelot, The French taunter, King Ni and Tim the Enchanter in the Tony Award-winning musical. I caught up with him just before a one-night-only performance in college town Pembroke, North Carolina:


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Q: I don’t think people realize just how popular “Spamalot” is. Except for last year it’s been touring constantly since 2006. And there were productions in Las Vegas, Germany, Spain, Sweden, Australia, New Zealand and Hungary. Millions have seen this show. Why do you think that is?

A: "It’s just a thing - particularly in Western culture - this Monty Python phenomenon, which has been holding on strong since the 70s. In the States and Canada it is such a cult favorite. I think its success world-wide it’s just because laughter is universal. Even if you’ve never seen the movie or have any idea of what Monty Python is, you can still appreciate the show and its downright silliness."

Q: I always tell my girlfriends that if they want to take their boyfriends or husbands to a Broadway show, make it “Jersey Boys” or “Spamalot.” They always come back and tell me I was right. Have you heard that?

A: "Oh yeah, I think so. I think that is a big part of the success too. It’s so uncommon and so unorthodox for something on Broadway. It’s so madcap and just not your typical Broadway show."

Q: Three years is a long time to be with one show. What would Adam today tell Adam from three years ago?

A: "I would tell him to hold on it’s going to be quite a ride. I don’t think I’ve had any truly bad experiences touring with this show. Life on the road can be hard; long hours, early mornings. But this show is the saving grace of touring. It gets such a great response everywhere you take it. It’s been a blast for three years."

Q: You play so many roles in the show. Is it tricky dealing with all of those complicated costumes?

A: "It’s a very costume-heavy show. A lot of the stuff is pretty dense. Most of the knight costumes involve a body glove layered underneath. And then there’s – it’s not actual chain mail, but it looks like it – this heavily-braided nylon cord. Then we have these three layers…it’s a tunic kind of thing that all the knights in the show have a lot of so that the average knight costume weighs 10 or 15 pounds. The Knights Who Say Ni – altogether with the stilts and the costumes – they are wearing 30 pounds or so. The helmet is like nine feet tall. It’s a very, very elaborate show.”

 

IF YOU GO:

“Monty Python’s Spamalot”

When: 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 25 and Saturday, Jan. 26

Where: Broward Center for the Performing Arts, 201 S.W. Fifth Avenue in Fort Lauderdale

Cost: $25 to $65

Contact: 954-462-0222 or BrowardCenter.org

By The Numbers: