Opening next week is a return engagement of “Monty Python’s Spamalot,” complete with an openly gay actor — Steve McCoy — in the central role of King Arthur of Britain.
“Spamalot,” based on the film “Monty Python and the Holy Grail,” won a Tony for Best Musical in 2005. Although McCoy admits that he runs into Python fans almost everywhere he goes with the musical, he does not feel it is mandatory to have a working knowledge of the Arthur legend or of the comedy troupe to appreciate the humor.
“It’s very funny and goofy, with huge song and dance numbers,” McCoy says. “It’s intellectual and silly, brilliantly written. It’s also a parody of musical theater.”
The show, which features two gay characters, has been a lightning rod for out performers, he acknowledges. Last year Richard Chamberlain was in the touring version and before that Clay Aiken was in the cast in Broadway.
McCoy admits there really isn’t a lot of variation in the way the role of Arthur can be played.
“You have to play it seriously or it won’t work – there is really only one way to do it,” he says. “You have to believe you are actually riding the horse.
He feels the message of “Spamalot” — “to go out and find what is important to you, your own grail, and don’t listen to what others say” — speaks to everyone, especially gay people.
“Monty Python’s Spamalot”
June 3 -5 at the Fox Theatre
660 Peachtree St., Atlanta, GA 30308
Top photo: Steve McCoy, who is gay, plays King Arthur in ‘Spamalot’ at the Fox Theatre. (Publicity photo)