In the nearly year and a half since its world premiere pre-Broadway tryout here, and some three Tony Awards and hundreds of sold-out nights on Broadway later, “Monty Python’s Spamalot” comes “home,” as the press releases call it, which as Eric Idle admitted in a post-curtain call stage speech on the national tour’s opening night here, began in Chicago because his wife of thirty years is a Chicagoan. Of course, no one is going to confuse the cavernous Cadillac Palace Theatre with the more intimate Shubert Theater, but the larger space does mean that much more of the audience that wants to see the show will have a shot, unlike last time around. And though much star power has been lost, the production itself is tighter and has sacrificed none of its elaborate production values. Of course, it stands to reason that the more affection that you have for anything Monty Python, the more you will enjoy the transport of the vintage British comedic franchise to stage with entire routines from “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” lifted word for word with Pythonheads mouthing them along with the cast. If you’re looking for a satisfying musical-theater experience you may have different expectations as, at times, the satirizing of musical theater indicates a superficial understanding of the form. “Spamalot” lampoons a certain British brand of musical popular in the late 1980s and early 1990s that was big on melodrama and scenery (a.k.a Andrew Lloyd Webber, who is out of fashion even on Broadway and the West End these days). And the comedy related to gays and Jews may strike some as over the top in a way more mean than funny, but to each his own. But for sheer spectacle, stagecraft and silliness, this is a show in a class of its own. (Dennis Polkow)
Cadillac Palace Theatre, 151 W. Randolph, (312)902-1400. $30-$85. Through June 4.