Luck of the British: Monty Python's Spamalot Celebrates First Year on Broadway

By Ernio Hernandez
March 17, 2006

Broadway's reigning Best Musical Tony Award winner Monty Python's Spamalot celebrates its first anniversary March 17 at the Shubert Theatre.

Mike Nichols ("The Graduate," "Angels in America") directed the show inspired by the 1975 feature film comedy "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" which landed at Broadway's Shubert Theatre for a St. Valentine's Day (Feb. 14, 2005) start and a St. Patrick's Day (March 17) opening.

At the year mark, Spamalot has acquired a number of accolades and continues to find success:

  • The musical earned 14 nominations for the 2005 Tony Awards, winning prizes for Best Musical, Best Direction (Nichols) and Featured Actress (Sara Ramirez).
  • The original Decca Broadway cast album earned the 2006 Grammy Award for Best Musical Show Album.
  • The national tour launch March 7 from Boston's Colonial Theatre (with scheduled plans to hit 11 more venues through Aug. 2007).
  • The musical has been announced an upcoming London West End staging starts Oct. 2 at the Palace Theatre, with original Broadway star Tim Curry (current King, Simon Russell Beale, is scheduled to appear in 2007).
  • A Las Vegas run at the Wynn Las Vegas resort's forthcoming Grail Theatre is slated for 2007.
  • The Broadway run continues to play to capacity crowds, breaking house records and grossing among the top shows.

    Other fun facts about the past year:

  • 6,592 pounds of confetti has been shot over the audience during the finale
  • It has taken four people 37,080 hours to clean it up
  • 70,692 t-shirts have been sold ("I'm Not Dead Yet" is the best seller).
  • 25,260 coconuts have been sold (technically 12,630 pairs "since one coconut won't do you much good in the sound department").
  • 3,759 killer bunny puppets and 9,515 cans of special edition Spam have been sold.

    The self-proclaimed "lovingly ripped-off" show features a book by Eric Idle based on the screenplay he co-wrote with Monty Python creators Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones and Michael Palin. The score features music and lyrics by Idle and composer John Du Prez ("A Fish Called Wanda") and also includes songs ("Brave Sir Robin" and "Knights of the Round Table") from the original film as well as Python signature "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life."

    Spamalot tells the tale of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table on their quest from God (voiced by a familiar actor) for the Holy Grail - with a short stop in the dazzling Spam-filled land of Camelot.

    The design team for Spamalot features Tim Hatley (set, costume), Hugh Vanstone (lighting), Gregory Meeh (special effects) and ACME Sound Partners (sound).

    The show website can be found at www.montypythonsspamalot.com.