Spamalot is basically Eric Idle's re-writing of the film Monty Python and the Holy Grail as a stage musical ... inspired, it's reported, by his attending a production of The Producers and saying "I can do that!". The show is opening in Chicago (it's been up for about a week at this point) with the "A" cast ... starring Tim Curry as Arthur, Frasier's David Hyde Pierce as Sir Robin, etc., and Hank Azaria as Sir Lancelot, etc. (except for Curry, most of the cast members play multiple roles ala the MP movies/show). I'd seen Tim Curry in concert back in the 70's when he was trying to make a post-RockyHorror rock&roll career, and he can still belt a tune. The biggest additon to the plot line is the "Lady of the Lake" character who carries a lot of the musical numbers (including at least 3 solo tunes, especially notable being the "Diva's Lament" which is pretty much bitching about being off-stage too long and threatening to call her agent!).
While not the best piece of musical theater that has ever been staged, Spamalot is very funny, and especially appeals to the Monty Python fanatics in replicating many scenes nearly word-for-word (and tone-for-tone) from the original movie (or movies if you count them cribbing "Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life" from Life of Brian). I did, now and again, get the feeling that I was watching a rather clever college review that was knocking off Monty Python rather than a "Broadway show", which probably has more to do with some of the intentionally cheesy sets than the presentation (written, after all, by ex-Python Eric Idle) or performances (by "name" actors). One other odd perception was how much David Hyde Pierce looked, in his Sir Robin wig, like the late Brian Jones ... I had to pull out Psychic TV's "Pop Star" today because of that!
Anyway, The Wife had also made us pre-theater dinner reservations at Rhapsody, the very nice restaurant over at the Chicago Symphony building (which is quite used to getting diners out in time for shows). I ended up having three appetizers, a grilled Foi Gras swimming in a butternut puree, a Sweetbreads dish, with them skewered on a cinnamon stick and served over sauteed spinach and grilled fava beans, and a pasta dish stuffed with slightly sweet chesses and served in a fig cream sauce ... yum!
After the show, we still had some time before we had to rescue the babysitter from The Girls, so went off in search of coffee and dessert. We opted for the Cheesecake Factory up at the Hancock, which we knew was open late, had interesting desserts, and was an easy walk to home. I had their "apple dumpling" which is a whole apple, cored, stuffed with raisins and some cinnamon sugar, wrapped in a flaky pastry shell, and baked, served with whipped cream. The Wife had a dulce de leche cheesecake, that I got to finish the last quarter of as well!
So, just in case y'all were wondering why I hadn't been around a lot ... The Girls have been off from school ... I'm still trying to get my Mom's place ready to sell ... I've been scrambling on end-of-the-year ad things for the business ... and there's all this Ho-Ho-Ho stuff that needs to be dealth with as well. I've been so beat that 2 out of 3 times when I sit down at my computer, meaning to catch up with LJ, I'm asleep before I finish reading my mail! Heh ... this getting old stuff make one a cartoon of oneself ... "I am Daddy, hear me snore!"