Everybody who goes to the theater with any frequency wants to be in on a hit. A real hit—like the first night of My Fair Lady must have felt, or Oklahoma! And most seasons the closest you come is a show you sense is vaguely good for you—a Wicked or a Ragtime or late Sondheim or the legions of Sondheim clones, shows you admire rather than enjoy. And, after a while, a critic begins to feel a little guilty about all the unenjoyable shows he’s admired for free and then suckered the paying customers into ponying up $101.50 per ticket into suffering through.

Which preamble is by way of saying that, every year or two on Broadway, a lot of pressure builds up to declare a real hit, and like a boil it has to be lanced. This spring’s lance is Spamalot, which has a lot of lances, as well as a Lancelot (a gay Lancelot, naturally). And, at the Shubert Theatre, it’s become the happy...


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