Thursday, January 03, 2008

Is Spam[-alot] Kosher?

In a review of the opening night of "Spamalot" back in 2005, New York theatergoer Genevieve Oparski said: "It's simple humour, there's nothing like simple, funny stuff. It can't not appeal to anyone."

Right you are there, Genevieve. It appealed to me. But I did find myself thinking during one song ("You won't succeed on Broadway"), "Why hasn't there been a ruckus about this?"

The review referred to earlier continues:
Word on the musical hasn't been totally euphoric however. Some commentators have indicated that a few of the lyrics poking fun at the prevalence of Jews in Broadway theatre could cause offence. But if there is any outrage it seems pretty muted.
At the risk of getting bricks thrown through my windows, I reproduce here just a snippet of the lyrics:
ARTHUR:
Have you heard of this "Broadway?"

ROBIN:
Yes sire...and we don't stand a chance there.

ARTHUR:
Why not?

ROBIN:
Because... Well...let me put it like this.

In any great adventure,
that you don't want to lose,
victory depends upon the poeple that you choose.
So, listen, Arthur darling, closely to this news:
We won't succeed on Broadway,
If you don't have any Jews...
For how it goes on, you will have to follow the link above OR click below:
)

But suffice it to say, the Christians on stage don't get it all their way. When finally, after a long and fruitless search for a Jew, Patsy (King Arthur's trusty steed) reveals that he is, on his mother's side, a Jew:
Arthur: Why on earth didn't you mention this earlier?
Patsy: Well, its not the kind of thing you mention in the presence of a heavily armed Christian.
It was the only wise-crack of the show that got applause and not just laughter. I admit that I might have been the one to start the applause...

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