Jul 25, 2013 5:16 PM by Dan Shadwell

"Spamalot"--Tales from the Knights in Solvang

If you're a fan of British humor, there's a pretty good chance you may be able to explain why "strange women, lyin' in ponds, distributin' swords... is no basis for a system of government."
...And there's a pretty good chance you'll want to catch the broadway musical, based on the monty python search for a certain bejeweled chalice.
In today's Local Spotlight, the musical send up of the already silly film "Monty Python and the Holy Grail," is "Spamalot."
When Python member, Eric Idle, cherry-picked the storyline from "Holy Grail", he lifted the dancing Knights of the Round Table... the Lady of the Lake, and the "so-called Arthur king's" confusion as he confronts skepticism aimed at his medieval monarchy...
"Are you suggesting that coconuts migrate?" demands a castle guard who's interrogating the King about his mocked-up mode of transportation--his squire is simply banging two coconuts together to imitate the sound of a horse's hooves.
"Not at all," responds Arthur. "They could be carried."
"What?!" the guard demands. "... a swallow, carrying a coconut?!"
"It could grip it by the husk," Arthur insists.
"Well, it's not a question of how it grips it!" counters the guard... "It's a simple question of weight ratios. A 5-ounce bird cannot carry a one pound coconut!"
Joseph Cannon plays the questing king... a character who seems oddly out of synch with his times.
"...and every time he goes to do something," Cannon explains, "... he gets left turned by these crazy characters."
Turned and burned by a French knight...
"You empty-headed animal food trough wiper!" yells the Frenchman from atop the parapets.
Later, he's given the runaround by a lip-synching group of forest dwellers, pre-occupied by peculiar words--the Knights Who Say Ni!
Then belittled by an expectorating enchanter named simply... Tim.
Arthur's spirit is seemingly uncrushable... and he remains upbeat...
"The message of the whole thing is to find your grail," says Cannon, with a smile. "Find what you feel is ... what it is that drives you."
"Spamalot" runs through August 10th at the Solvang Festival Theatre in Solvang with shows each night at 8pm, Wednesday through Sunday.
By the way, supreme executive power is derived by a mandate from the masses--not from some farcical aquatic ceremony. That's an Arthur quote--another one of the crown jewels.
For tickets and more information, go to the home page at ksby.com and click on "links."



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