The hilarity of Monty Python comes to town Nov. 13 with the outrageous Broadway hit musical Spamalot.
Showtime is 7 p.m. at Toyota Center in Kennewick. Tickets are from $47 to $67 and available at www.ticketmaster.com or the coliseum box office.
Spamalot was affectionately ripped off from the cult film, Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Its creator and writer, Eric Idle, is one of six comedians who were the core of the Monty Python British TV series in the 1960s.
To say that Python humor was irreverent would be an understatement.
However, critics say the comedians -- Idle, John Cleese, Michael Palin, Terry Gilliam, Graham Chapman and Terry Jones -- changed the flavor of humor like the Beatles changed the sound of music.
The story is a parody that surrounds medieval England and the legend of King Arthur, where spoofs and goofs abound. Four of those goofy characters are played by Adam Grabau, who plays Sir Lancelot, the French Taunter, King Ni and Tim the Enchanter.
"I didn't grow up with Monty Python, but my uncles and father introduced me to it because they did," Grabau said in a recent telephone interview with the Herald. "By the time I turned 16, I was a fan, so actually being in this musical is very special to me."
Grabau portrays all the roles Cleese plays in The Holy Grail, he said. "The lines are as zany in this stage show as it was in the film," he added.
Grabau has toured with the show for about two years and said the most challenging part of it has been the rapid costume changes required when portraying multiple roles.
"And these costumes are very elaborate, too, so it gets a little crazy sometimes," he said.
He said the show should get a PG-13 rating.
"There's kind of a fluctuating rating to it," he said. "There's a lot of sexual innuendo, religious irreverence and it depicts the gay life style. It's all silliness. But there's also a very good moral to the story that people need to be good again. The show will definitely make you laugh."
Spamalot was nominated for all sorts of awards when it debuted on Broadway in 2005. It won best musical, best actress (Sara Ramirez) and best director (Mike Nichols) at the Tony Awards.
The touring show has plenty of elaborate props, including a 45-pound cow that takes two stage hands to catapult it over the castle walls. About 40 coconuts are used a month during the tour, and there are about 75 different wigs used for all the characters.
The costumes are designed from a wide range of fabrics as well plastic and a few nuts and bolts. Remember, we're talking about the Middle Ages, when knights wore iron chain mail and maidens wore metal-enforced corsets.
Grabau said the costumer carries power tools as well as a sewing machine.
Was it difficult to stay in character when surrounded by so much slapstick, irreverence and hilarious humor?
"Sometimes," he said. "It's just a very funny show."
*Dori O'Neal: 582-1514; firstname.lastname@example.org