What’s that you say? Monty Python’s Life of Brian performed as an oratorio? It can’t be true. Oh, but yes, it is indeed true! And now this magical experience is coming to the Delaware stage courtesy of Bootless Stageworks, a contemporary theatre experience.
This over-the-top performance will produce deep belly laughs from even the sternest of audience members and is sure to amuse Monty Python fans, classical music aficionados, and absolutely anyone with a sense of humor.
Not the Messiah, a spoof of Handel’s oratorio Messiah, tells the tragic tale of Mandy, impregnated by a Roman soldier. She gives birth to Brian – a reluctant revolutionary of the People’s Front of Judea – who falls in love with Judith, gets mistaken for a Messiah, and is arrested by the Romans and sentenced to be crucified.
Eccentric music compliments the crazy plot. Described by co-composer Eric Idle as “baroque ‘n’ roll,” the music is a pastiche of styles: pop, Welsh hymns, a naughty Mozart duet, country and western, doo-wop, hip hop, Broadway, Greek chorus, and Bob Dylan (in his mumbling, electric guitar and harmonica phase). “Hail to the Shoe,” “What Have The Romans Ever Done For Us,” “We Love Sheep,” “I Want To Be A Girl” and the classic sing-along “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life” are just a few of the glorious musical selections.
“It’s lively stuff, to be sure. In true Monty Python fashion, it’s a crazy soup-to-nuts, heavy on the nuts…. There’s bawdy music-hall humour, a touch of Noel Coward cleverness in the lyric…and a range of musical styles from gospel to mariachi. – Colin Eatock, Globe and Mail