The Playbill program for the show has an awful lot about Clay Aiken, who is performing the role of the Sir Robin in the New York production of Spamalot. Even if you didn'92t care about American Idol, it'92s hard for a Birminghamian not to wince when she reads '93'85 he has long since outsold that season'92s '91Idol'92 winner, the affable, velvet-voiced Ruben Studdard'85'94 Pah! No doubt Aiken'92s mother was a hamster and his father smelt of elderberries. Anyway, the role of the Not-So-Brave knight is played in the touring production by the terrific James Beaman whose, '93You Won'92t Succeed on Broadway'94 is one of the highlights of the show, even though the song'92s repeated punch line ('93You won'92t succeed on Broadway if you don'92t have any Jews!'94) doesn'92t get the laughs from a Deep South audience that it surely does in New York.
Other high points in the show are the technicolor tour de force '93His Name is Lancelot'94 and almost every number done by the Lady of the Lake (Esther Stilwell). The sword-foisting royalty only mentioned in passing in Monty Python and the Holy Grail has a major role in Spamalot: The '93watery tart'94 is recast as King Arthur'92s love interest '96 the necessary heroine with the mellifluous voice. The conceit is one of several that the show'92s creators employed to spin the smart cult film into a musical with mass appeal. Whereas Monty Python and the Holy Grail was a skewering satire of British history and mythology, Spamalot is Satire Lite, a middling send-up of Broadway culture with Monty Python'92s greatest hits (coconuts for horses, knights who say '93Ni!'94, killer rabbits, etc.) as the engine driving the talented cast, not to mention ticket sales.
In short, Spamalot is funny but plotless, like so much of life.
Tickets are still available through Ticketmaster for the 8 p.m. show tonight, as well as shows at 1 and 7 p.m. on Sunday.