Spamalot
February 20, 2019 at 7 p.m.
Collins Center for the Arts
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Spamalot

Wednesday, February 20, 2019 at 7 p.m.
Collins Center for the Arts

This show is SOLD OUT, with the exception of some ADA seating. Please check out Tap Dogs on Feb. 27!

This outrageous musical comedy is lovingly ripped off from the film classic “Monty Python and the Holy Grail.” With a book by Eric Idle and music and lyrics by the Grammy Award winning team of Mr. Idle and John Du Prez, Spamalot tells the tale of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table as they embark on their quest for the Holy Grail. Flying cows, killer rabbits, taunting Frenchmen, and show-stopping musical numbers are just a few of the reasons audiences worldwide are eating up Spamalot!

Orchestra $71/$63 | Balcony $49/$35 | All fees included

Join us at 6 p.m. for a pre-show lecture, presented in conjunction with the McGillicuddy Humanities Center. Sarah Harlan-Haughey, Associate Professor of English, will be the featured speaker. With a specialty in Medieval literature, Literature and the Environment, Folklore and Oral Traditional Studies, the talk is sure to provide an enlightening backdrop to the play.  Refreshments will be served.

Notes on the Movie Lovingly Ripped Off by Spamalot

King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table first embarked on a search for The Holy Grail in the very, very low-budget 1975 movie, “Monty Python and the Holy Grail.” The film was written by the Pythons and directed by Terry Gilliam and Terry Jones. It was produced by Mark Forstater with music by De Wolfe and Neil Innes. Python Pictures Limited re-released the film in 2001, with a PG rating.
This, the second feature-length Python production was uniquely financed. At the time, tax rates (80% or higher) in the United Kingdom were driving wealthy creative types to find ways to lose funds in investments so as to offset the high rate of Inland Revenue. With two first-time movie directors and a motley bunch of actors and writers, the odds were pretty good that the movie would never make any money. So this modestly budgeted film was financed by such still renowned musical groups as Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Genesis and such artists as George Harrison and Andrew Lloyd Webber.
The film was shot in about five weeks with a budget of a mere $400,000. Despite telling a very English story, “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” was almost entirely filmed in Scotland. This film was shot mostly in many historic Scottish castles. The scene with the “Black Knight” was shot in a forest outside of London.
Because of these fiscal limitations, creative measures were often used to save money. For instance, the Pythons were originally going to ride horses, but then they realized they didn’t have the money to do so. Instead, the actors used the techniques that were allusions to early radio in Britain. They bashed together empty coconut halves to replicate the clopping sound of horse’s hooves as they pranced through the countryside.
The chain mail was actually silver-painted wool. The problem here being wool absorbs moisture and when it rained during filming, which it often did, the actors were laden with the rain that the wool absorbed. Another interesting economy was the pasteboard castle used as a backdrop against the horizon.
The film first premiered in March 1975 in Los Angeles and opened in London on April 3, 1975. In a fortunate piece of timing, the release of “Holy Grail” in America coincided with the time that Python was first becoming popular in the U.S. despite its late Sunday night airing on PBS.
In 2004, “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” was named by film fans as the best British picture of all time by the United Kingdom arm of Amazon and the Internet Movie Database.