About a week ago, Mom and I went out to the Rose Center Theater in Westminster to see Spamalot; it was basically community theater with a slightly larger-than-usual budget, but the tickets were cheap and it wasn’t that far away). It was quite fun. Musicals aren’t really my thing, but spoof musicals do have their place and there were enough Monty Python jokes to keep my twisted little heart happy. (Thanks, Eric Idle!) The funniest part to me was when Lancelot gets outed. Since I couldn’t find a good live recording of “His Name is Lancelot,” I decided to settle for the song that obviously inspired it.
This song isn’t just cheesy: It’s freakin’ Velveeta. But its extreme lack of coolness is part of what makes it so much fun. I thought I remembered seeing “Copacabana” performed on The Muppet Show with Rita Moreno and (obviously) a bunch of Muppets, but I think it was probably this version with Liza Minnelli; all the elements I remember are there, but the details are different. (I would’ve preferred Rita Moreno, frankly.) But that’s the beauty of this song. It lends itself to theatricality and melodrama. Story songs are a whole wonderfully weird little subgenre of music that I don’t think gets explored enough. They can pack a lot of emotion and plot into three and a half minutes (give or take).