My friend commented during the show - "This won the Tony? I guess it was not up against much competition in 2005!". (for the record it was up against Spelling Bee, Light in the Piazza, and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels). I see the attempt at humor - it's clever in concept, yes. Act II much more so than Act I, for sure. Plenty of marginally funny and stale one-liners abound. The plot is thin, to say the least. Even the "Python-esque" fun and frolicking seems muted and lethargic.
Well - let's look back at the point of this show - - Put on a low budget looking (they spent $11m, by the way) show that perpetuates and extends the cultural phenomenon of Monty Python: The Holy Grail. Entice a new theater audience, perhaps? Have these people gone on to be inspired by the performance and see other deeper shows? (there couldn't be any less deeper shows). I think not.
Lest not we mention the current day annoying, dumb, and culture-less tourists that packed the theater. The requisite gay jokes got many-a-laugh. Of course they would. The mostly white, homophobic, middle American, suburban seat-fillers who paid upwards of $200 for a mezzanine ticket (see, i told you they were stupid) seemed more than willing to accept what they saw as "good theater". Again, I think not.
Let's just say that there are some good "theater" jokes in the book - (of course there would be, it's a Broadway musical!) - but not a one of the idiots that packed the theater laughed at the Wicked parody, the West Side Story music, or the Company spoof. At least the parents (not the kids) got the Fiddler joke - i mean it was a whole scene - how could they miss it?! And then there were all the references to popular culture. They had a big long reference to Senator Craig and the bathroom stall scandal. I think it took a full 5 minutes for the morons (or is that Mormons?) in the audience to get it!! And at that, they didn't like it much. ("He's not gay, you know").
I'm not a Monty Python fan - but let's just say I was less than pleased with what i found both on stage and in the audience at the Shubert Theater. I was right to not see this in 2005 and wrong to see it now.