CLERMONT — In the 1960s and '70s, the British Invasion included more than the Beatles and a new style of music. A fresh, irreverent type of comedy was unleashed by six young men who performed as Monty Python.
That comedy, with its non-sequiturs, absurd situations and liberated nonsense, influenced comedy in the U.S. from "Saturday Night Live" to "The Simpsons" and "South Park."
But the Pythons, as they were called, weren't a flash in the pan. At 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 6, a musical, three-time Tony Award winner "Monty Python's Spamalot," will open at the Moonlight Players Warehouse Theater.
Andre Provencher plays King Arthur.
"I didn't get the humor when I first saw the movies as a child," Provencher said. "But now I love just being so off-the-wall and quirky. Eric Idle's forte is wordplay, like, 'Tonight' the night when all my knights unite.' "
Original Python Idle wrote the book, the lyrics and collaborated on the music, with John Du Prez and Neil Innes.
Director Tom Kline has pulled out all the stops.
First, he drove to Miami to bring back the theater's first connected seats (replacing stacking banquet chairs), then he made a deal to have every type of Spam delicacy served in the lobby — including Spam, cream cheese and raspberry jam on toast points. And the theater will offer Monty Python's Holy Grail, which has the "G" and "r" crossed out.
"We will have a pre-show," Kline said. "Python fans should come early."
There is more. Anyone who puts on the musical can't vary from the script, which means he had to construct a Bring-out-your-dead cart, paying $80 for its wheels alone, build a giant Trojan Rabbit and find 18 foam fish.
The production also boasts a fog machine, confetto cannons, exploding torches and a catapult that tosses a life-size cow.
"This is the most prop-heavy show I've ever been involved in," Kline said.
He underscores the musical may not be everyone's cup of tea.
"There is nothing, no ethnicity, no characteristic, nothing they don't make fun of," he said.
The play will continue at the Moonlight Players Warehouse Theatre, 732 B W. Montrose St., through Oct. 6.
Performances begin at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday.
Tickets are $15 and $12 for students.
For reservations or for more information, call 352-319-1116.