Suzi (k00kaburra) wrote,

Ham and Jam and Spamalot!

On Tuesday night my boyfriend and I saw "Spamalot" in the second-to-last stop of the traveling tour. I'll get to the show itself in a minute, but first I must say that Broadway San Jose, the new company bringing musical theatre to San Jose, so far has been extremely unprofessional and disappointing. When we ordered season tickets, they had two options: a 5-show or 4-show subscription package. You ordered the 5-show package through Ticketmaster, and if you wanted to see four shows only you'd get your money refunded for the fifth. IT seemed a roundabout way of doing things, but whatever. We only wanted to see four shows, so we ordered through Ticketmaster and waited for the chargeback on the credit card.

When I finally got my chargeback, it seemed low (only $36 for two tickets) so I e-mailed the company at the customer service e-mail. Twice. I couldn't call them because I work during the hours their office is open, but you'd think they could reply to an e-mail! But I never heard a peep, and I know people from the company are on-line, because they have a regularly-updated Facebook page. I eventually figured out the refund issue on my own, but the entire situation left an EXTREMELY bitter taste in my mouth.

Anyway, it turns out Broadway San Jose f*cked up again, because on Tuesday the 'Will Call' line was going out the door of the theatre and around the block! (On the Facebook page I saw a notice that people should arrive for Will Call an hour before the show started...yeah. THAT'S going to happen.) Thankfully, Seanie and I had gotten our tickets in the mail so it wasn't an issue for us, but the clusterf*ck at box office meant that Spamalot started half an hour late. Way to go, Broadway San Jose. I don't care if it was the first show of the first season ever, understaffing 'Will Call' and failing to sort the tickets so they could be distributed efficiently is a preventable, embarrassing screw-up. Did we get anything for the delay? Naw. They barely managed an apology over the speakers twenty minutes into the wait.

But anyway...FINALLY the show started and we could see SPAMALOT!

The show is pretty funny, with constant laughs, but the first act and second act feel like two completely different musicals. Act I more or less follows the plot of 'Monty Python and the Holy Grail' pretty closely. Act II, on the other hand, starts off with a song from the movie 'Life of Brian' and spins off into parodies of other musicals. It becomes much more self-referential and at our show had jokes about Kayne West and Serena Williams. Extremely topical improvisation.

I am a huge fan of the movie, and there were a couple of scenes I really expected to see. The witch-burning scene, for example, would have been fantastic - but it's not there. Nor is the bridge-crossing scene. But most of the funny bits made it into the show. The Broadway parodies were funny, with references to Phantom of the Opera, West Side Story, and Fiddler on the Roof. I mean, OK, the movie's basically a series of sketches and doesn't end in a 'proper' way, but the musical makes even less of an attempt at a coherent story, and what little plot it kept has to be put aside constantly to fit in the Broadway parodies.

I mean, I laughed, and it was fun. But I enjoyed Act I a LOT more than Act II.
Tags: british humor, monty python, musicals, spamalot, theatre

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