Spamalot (Original Broadway Cast)
All too many contemporary Broadway musicals have succeeded by infusing their ethos with a shallow pop musical sheen and production values that often seem gleaned from Disney’s theme parks and animated hits. So many, in fact, that Eric Idle and longtime musical collaborator John Du Prez spend much of their unlikely, if equally loopy musical adaptation of Monty Python and the Holy Grail skewering the Great White Way’s steady descent into Hollywood formula. The film’s artifact questing plot may have survived largely intact, but now tempers such typically Pythonesque goofs as “Finland/Fisch Schlapping Dance” and summoning the Lady of the Lake via – what else? – the “Laker Girls Cheer.” There are also modern musical-lampooning gems such as “The Song That Goes Like This” and “Diva’s Lament (Whatever Happened to My Part?),” while “You Won’t Succeed On Broadway” reveals the genre’s frankly Semitic secret to success. Even Barry Manilow get satirized on “His Name is Lancelot,” while Life of Brian’s “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life” is revived as the show’s obligatory triumphant closer.