BROADWAY HAS BECOME "TEDIOUS, BORING AND DULL," SAYS MONTY PYTHON'S ERIC IDLE -- AND HE'S OUT TO CHANGE THAT
-- ON "60 MINUTES WEDNESDAY"
Eric Idle tells correspondent Charlie Rose that he wrote the Broadway musical, "Spamalot" because he wanted to bring new audiences to the theater. Says the 62-year-old actor and writer, "�The theater's become tedious and boring and dull." Rose's interview with Idle and the cast of "Spamalot" will be broadcast on 60 MINUTES WEDNESDAY April 27 (8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.
"Spamalot" is sold out for months, and part of its appeal is the way Idle pokes fun at Broadway heavyweights like Andrew Lloyd Webber. "[Andrew] has been about the musical for the last 25 years," Idle tells Rose. "He's taken the comedy out of it. I think if you can laugh, have a song, laugh, have a song, that's the most agreeable form of entertainment you can have in the theater."
Director Mike Nichols says he didn't want anything to do with "Spamalot" when he was first approached by his friend Idle. "I said, 'Please go away, I don't want to do another musical.'"
But Nichols, a Python fan, changed his mind after reading the script and convinced actor Hank Azaria to join the cast. "I got a call at home from Mike [Nichols]," says Azaria. "Mike said right out, 'We're not sure about your singing and dancing, so we have to see about that,'" remembers Azaria. "Fortunately, me trying to do those things is silly and funny, which fits right in with the theme of the show."
Silly and funny is exactly what Idle was aiming for when he wrote the musical. "�I think 30 years ago you were in Vietnam�and 'Python' came along and said, 'Remember, always look on the bright side, we're not dead yet'�Now here we are, you know, 30 years later opening a heartwarming show, a funny show on Broadway to remind you that�you aren't totally responsible for everything." Hank Azaria puts it more simply: "It's a good time for silly."
Jeff Fager is the executive producer of 60 MINUTES WEDNESDAY and Elliot Kirschner is the producer of this report.