Entertainment Weekly

Stay Connected

Subscribe

Advertise With Us

Learn More

Skip to content
Oscars 2017
Everything you need to knowDon't Miss It

Article

'Life of Brian,' the... Oratorio?

Posted on

93919__brian_l_1

93919__brian_l_1There are those who will greedily gulp down any Monty Python-derived property, however “lovingly ripped off.” And there are those who make a point of seeing each and every oratorio that hits the stage. (This latter group is identifiable by their powdered wigs and ultrahip knee-breeches.) Eric Idle, the retired Python troupe’s de facto Barnum, is set to merge these groups into one massive fanbase: Get ready for Not the Messiah, a Handel-esque take on The Life of Brian.

The oratorio (like an opera, only less theatrical and heathenish) will open not on Broadway, beside Idle’s smash Spamalot, but at a festival in Toronto. (As Idle himself has noted, America’s not the safest place to end a musical with a crucifixion.) So we can’t quite accuse Idle of pimping out yet another Python treasure with limited comic results… yet.

Yeah, I’m one of those curmudgeons who found Spamalot a little weak, overall. And an oratorio, with its limited staging, will put the onus squarely on Idle’s lyrics — which, in my opinion, lack a certain killer-rabbit swiftness. Does that mean I’m not curious? Course not. I’ve got my knee-breeches on already. Not that I ever really take them off.

addCredit(“Life of Brian: Everett Collection”)

Comments