cover image The Spamalot Diaries

The Spamalot Diaries

Eric Idle. Crown, $25 (208p) ISBN 978-0-593-80048-5

Idle (Always Look on the Bright Side of Life) provides a rollicking account of the making of his Broadway musical Spamalot, based on the 1975 film Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Stitching together journal entries, emails, and discarded song lyrics, Idle covers the creative challenges of adapting a movie with 98 speaking roles into a play, hysterical table reads and endless rewrites, and blowing off steam with museum visits and nights out on the town (during dinner with Steve Martin and Stella McCartney at a West Village restaurant, Jerry Seinfeld, a “big Python fan,” stops by to say hello). Idle depicts the highs and lows of putting on a show with equal fondness, from butting heads with his director over scene changes to the warmth of rehearsals and the thrill of showing the musical to its first paying audiences. While the journal entries vary between bursts of creative insight and mundane accounts of individual rehearsals, the end result is an irresistible and unfiltered ode to the art of live theater. Fans will love this tantalizing glimpse behind the curtain. (Oct.)