Eric Idle and LA Philharmonic: Not the Messiah (He's a Very Naughty Boy) at Hollywood Bowl
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The last date listed for Eric Idle and the LA Philharmonic: Not the Messiah (He's a Very Naughty Boy) was Friday August 1, 2008 / 8:30pm.
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“Lots of boisterous fun… Du Prez’s thoroughly entertaining score starts big and skips joyously from gospel to doo-wop, pop, country and Broadway musical.” —Variety
The Los Angeles Philharmonic Association presents the comedic oratorio Not the Messiah (He’s a Very Naughty Boy) with Monty Python’s Eric Idle and co-creator John Du Prez _– _the team that brought the wildly popular, Tony and Grammy award-winning musical, Spamalot_, to Broadway and beyond. Not the Messiah (He’s a Very Naughty Boy)_ is inspired by the cult-classic 1979 film Monty Python’s Life of Brian in which the main character, Brian, a first century Judean, is mistaken for the Messiah, pursued, and ultimately crucified. Only a mind from Monty Python’s Flying Circus could make such subject matter hilarious, and Idle does so, while also cleverly spoofing Handel’s famous 1741 oratorio, Messiah. Not the Messiah (He’s a Very Naughty Boy) with Eric Idle makes its West Coast debut at the Hollywood Bowl.
Not the Messiah (He’s a Very Naughty Boy) was originally commissioned by the Luminato – Toronto Festival of the Arts and Creativity and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. The world premiere performance took place at Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto, Canada on June 1, 2007 and was conducted by the Toronto Symphony Orchestra Music Director, and Eric Idle’s first cousin, Maestro Peter Oundjian. The 75-minute production at the Hollywood Bowl is an extended version of the original and features the Los Angeles Philharmonic, four vocal soloists, a narrator, a choir, bagpipers, some sheep and the famous Hollywood Bowl fireworks display.
Categorized as “baroque-n-roll,” Not the Messiah (He’s a Very Naughty Boy) at the Hollywood Bowl incorporates practically every genre of music including pop, country, hip hop, Broadway, Welsh hymns, Greek chorus and a Bob Dylan impersonation. The comedic oratorio is described by Idle as, “shorter than Handel, funnier than Handel, but obviously not as good theologically.” The production features soon to be classics, “O God You Are So Big,” “What Have the Romans Ever Done for Us,” “Hail to the Shoe,” sung to the tune of Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus, and of course, a rousing rendition of the #1 hit (of the movie) “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life.”
Not the Messiah (He’s a Very Naughty Boy) at the Hollywood Bowl features three soloists from the original production: soprano Shannon Mercer, mezzo-soprano Jean Stilwell, and baritone Theodore Baerg. Making his Naughty Boy debut is tenor William Ferguson. The performance also features creator, narrator, singer, impersonator and comedian extraordinaire, Eric Idle. The Pacific Chorale, under the direction of John Alexander, and the Los Angeles Scots Pipe Band, join the Los Angeles Philharmonic conducted by John Du Prez.
Eric Idle has hyphenated his way through life, from being a writer-actor in the legendary Monty Python TV series; to creator-director of _The Rutles; _to a singer-songwriter performing rude songs at Carnegie Hall and the Hollywood Bowl. He has launched two highly successful tours of the US – _Eric Idle Exploits Monty Python _(2000) and _The Greedy Bastard Tour _(2003) – where he journeyed 15,000 miles across North America in a rock n’ roll bus. _Spamalot, _a theatrical version of Monty Python and the Holy Grail, won him a Tony for Best Musical of 2005, and a Grammy for Best Soundtrack. Spamalot is currently on Broadway and on tour in the US, London, Las Vegas, and Melbourne. In November 2007, his play, What About Dick?, had a short try-out in LA. Not The Messiah (He’s a Very Naughty Boy), written with John Du Prez, received its World Premiere in Toronto in June 2007 and its US Premiere in New York in July 2007.
John Du Prez began his thirty year collaboration with Eric Idle working on the title music for Monty Python’s Life of Brian. Not The Messiah brings their work full circle. Their stage musical Spamalot won them a Tony award for Best Musical and a Grammy award for Best Original Cast Album, and has just opened its fifth company in Australia with more to follow in Europe, Asia and South America. He has scored more than twenty feature films including A Fish Called Wanda, The Meaning of Life, A Private Function, Once Bitten, A Chorus of Disapproval, the cult classic UHF and_ Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles I, II & III_. Other Python projects include The Contractual Obligation Album, Monty Python at the Hollywood Bowl and The Fairly Incomplete & Badly Illustrated Monty Python Song Book. He was a Trevelyan Scholar at Christ Church, Oxford.