Monday, November 20, 2017
Stage

That time I saw 'Spamalot' on Broadway and met Tim Curry

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My dad wins the Best Dad Ever award. All you other dads can just stop trying.

As you can see, I'm not the editor. I'm a Times designer and blogger. But this week's cover story on American Stage in the Park's three-week production of Monty Python's Spamalot holds a special place in my heart.

For my high school graduation in 2005, my dad gave me the gift of a lifetime. I wasn't expecting something huge. He always (jokingly) said, "Why celebrate something the state makes you do?" So when he asked if I wanted cash or tickets to the hottest new production on Broadway, I gave him a big hug and told him that was a dumb question. Obviously, I wanted to see Monty Python's Spamalot in New York City.

Spamalot was the buzzworthy show 11 years ago, much like Hamilton is now. It received 14 Tony nominations, and the week before we saw it, Spamalot was awarded Best Musical. Sara Ramirez (you know, Callie from Grey's Anatomy) won Best Actress in a Musical for her role as the Lady of the Lake.

Like I said, my dad rocks.

He introduced me to Monty Python and the Holy Grail in elementary school. This fifth-grader was not impressed. Cut to a few years later, and I was Grail-obsessed. Dad and I would quote the entire movie ad nauseum. (Sorry, Mom!)

"It's only a flesh-wound!"

"Help! Help! I'm being repressed!"

"I fart in your general direction."

I had never been to a Broadway show before, and I had no idea what to expect. As soon as my dad, sister and I got to the city, we found our way to Shubert Theatre to buy Spamalot merchandise. We were bummed to find out that Hank Azaria, who played Lancelot, had just left the production a few weeks ago for some TV gig. Alan Tudyk stepped in. You know, Steve the Pirate from Vince Vaughn's Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story.

As we were killing time before the show, we noticed lots of people swarming a nearby building. It looked like a red carpet.

Yep, it was the Songwriters Hall of Fame Induction ceremony. And somehow, my sister and I got right up front. We saw the stunning Alicia Keys. And Matchbox Twenty's Rob Thomas. And Ryan Cabrera (remember him, millennials?!), who wore too much foundation. I shook hands with a nervous Jason Mraz and probably mumbled something really stupid.

I was starstruck, and the show hadn't even started yet.

We got to our balcony seats. We were ready.

When the show began, I think I blacked out because I barely remember it. Still laughing, the three of us walked out of the theater singing, "His name is Lancelot / And in tight pants a lot, / he likes to dance a lot!"

Wait, why were people hanging around the stage door? Oh hey, Tim Curry (King Arthur), David Hyde Pierce (Sir Robin) and Alan Tudyk.

And that's the day I died.

Only kidding.

We got our Playbill signed, realized Curry is much shorter in person and awkwardly stopped Tudyk to get a photo as he tried to leave. That picture exists somewhere, I swear.

That was one of my favorite days ever, and now I wish my dad could come and watch the American Stage production with me. Instead, when I go home next week, we'll watch Grail. And annoyingly quote the entire thing.

Contact Brittany Volk at [email protected] Follow @bevolk.

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