Pi and E

The Spamalot Adventure…

For the past month (or so) we had been gearing up for the opening knight of Spamalot.  It all started when our friend Kevin discovered that the show would be opening on his birthday.  He made all the calls to Broadway San Jose’s booking office, and committed a group of friends to the night.  Then we made the suggestion of costumes.  This was a no-brainer for us, as when we saw Spamalot in London we noticed a few people dressed as Knights (though it was the matinee showing on Halloween…)  Also, it was a no brainer as Kevin and his husband Andy (as well as many of the people attending) are costumers.  Kevin took this suggestion and ran with it…

Having noticed that a typical Knight’s surcoat’s crest often employs a cross design (St. George Cross, for example) – which can also look like a plus sign – Kevin made the suggestion that we should all wear surcoats with mathematical symbols on them.  Thus was born the Knights of the Log Table.  Having been cleared with Broadway San Jose (who’s only restriction was on swordy like objects) and with the blessing of the production’s King Arthur (Christopher Gurr, who contacted Kevin via Twitter) the task of assigning operators to each attendee was started…

Kevin, being our king, decided to find a symbol that resembled the sun crest that is on King arthur’s costume – ending up with a sideways cross-hatch symbol for Smash Product.  Meanwhile, while at the San Jose toy show, we found an old Round Table Pizza serving tray that we thought would make a great shield – which led to Ken taking the assignment of PI.  Wanting to utilize as much of her wedding dress in other uses, Jerry became the Irrational Lady of the Lake.  Pi and EOnce all of our twenty-four attendees were sorted out, it was time to make the costumes…

The making of the Surcoats took place the weekend leading up to the opening night.  Kevin made the iron-on printouts on Saturday, so that they would be dry and ready to apply on Sunday – when we would have a group of twelve people, over eleven hours, involved in putting together eighteen of the twenty-one surcoats (three were being made by their wearers, three would be in different costumes.)  It stared off with an assembly line at the outside ironing board to fold a spool of bias tape – twice – while Kevin and Jerry worked out some of the details on the Irrational woman costume.  Then the fabric was cut to appropriate lengths, and neck holes cut into them.  The afore mentioned bias tape applied to the edges (four of the surcoats had custom edging applied, and a few others had just black stitching applied – as the bias tape was thin and difficult to apply correctly.)  Then the mathematical coat of arms was applied to the front, with the name of the symbol’s function was applied to the back under a heading to mark the occasion ([evil] KEVIN 7^2).  Those of us who were there when the costumes were done got to take them home that night, some others were distributed the next day and the rest were handed out in front of the theater…

Another added bonus that was planned for the evening was an order of 48 coconut shells that Jerry had made, and were due to arrive the day of the performance.  Sadly, these did not arrive until more than an hour after we left for dinner at Paolo’s with the birthday boy. Dinner at Paolo'sDuring dinner Kevin received a direct message from King Arthur, asking for our group to get together outside the Spamalot tour’s semi that was parked outside of the theatre so he could have our picture taken with us.  We naturally said yes, and invited him to drinks after at the restaurant bar – but he had to decline, as there was a cast party with the local producers of the show.  So we finished our dinner, and headed over the pedestrian bridge to the San Jose Center for the Performing Arts…

Outside the entrance to the theater was the Renaissance faire people taking the opportunity for a co-promotion with the show, and a long queue for will-call ticket pickup (luckily Kevin was sent all our tickets in advance.)  The tickets having been handed out, along with the remaining surcoats, we all marched through into the theater itself, bee-lining our way to the lounge where we placed our orders for intermission drinks (something that groups are suggested to do.)  Then into the auditorium to take our seats, which were in row 8 next to Kevin and Andy in seats 2,4,6 and 8.  The rest of the group were in the two rows behind us, occupying ten seats in each.  The show started about a half-hour late, due to some problem with will-call, but it did start…

Drinks with the peasants

Now we had seen Spamalot on our first trip to London, nearly three years ago, when it had just opened up in the West End and Tim Curry was still Arthur.  With that in mind, we can’t seem to fault this production at all.  Plus there were places that opened themselves up for topical humor (Serena William’s tantrum, and a show stopping reference to Kanye Wests’ epic fail from this past weekend, plus a mention of Steve Jobs’ new liver) and a moderately unwilling audience member being dragged onstage at the end (if you’ve seen the show, you know what I’m talking about) made for a different experience than before.  At the interval we had our drinks, and more people  starting to talk to us about the costumes and why – apparently we were even being talked about in the nose-bleed section.  Once the show concluded, our group made our way out to the show’s trailer to wait for King Arthur to appear…

After a brief period of waiting at the trailer, we were greeted by Ben Davis, who plays Dennis Galahad, and shortly thereafter were joined by the company’s Lancelot – Matthew Greer.  They had been told about us by Christopher Gurr, and told us that they could clearly see us during the performance.  King arthur himself arrived, and we all chatted and had a big group photo taken with the three cast members (Galahad holding Ken’s Round Table shield!)

Knights of the Log Table

Then they made their way off to the cast party, and we made our way back to Paolo’s bar – where we discovered that it was closed for the cast party (the Paolo’s staff did not mention that to us when we said we were coming back for drinks after the show.)  Luckily the manager set us up outside, where the cast and crew could see us and could come and talk to us (and some did.)  Jerry’s outfit was even so distracting that one of the ensemble (we think it was Vanessa Sonon) tried to walk through the window instead of the door and our group was chatted up – and even complimented – by the wardrobe mistress.  But all things must come to an end, and our party was completely broken up by about 11:30.  All in all, a great night out… 

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