film “Monty Python and the Holy Grail”
Book & Lyrics by Eric Idle
Music by John Du Prez & Eric Idle
Directed by William Ostetek
Music Direction by Roberta Duchak
Choreography by Tammy Mader
At Drury Lane Oakbrook Theatre
Smart, sassy spoof a superlative Spamalot!
Kudos to director William Osetek and his creative team that includes fabulous lighting (from Jesse Klug), costumes (by Tim Hatley) and wigs (by Kaity Licina) with energetic and innovative choreography by Tammy Mader and terrific music direction by Roberta Duchak for mounting a gem of a musical comedy! Wow! what a way to start off 2011! Drury Lane Theatre’s Spamalot is better that either of the two major productions mounted in downtown Chicago.
This production is hilarious as it captures the essence of the Pythonesque comic style that made the Monty Python TV show and films so successful. The deadpan King Arthur (a droll turn from David Kortemeir) and his ever present sidekick Patsy (Matthew Crowle at his coconut shell pounding best) together with the manic, strong-voiced The Lady of the Lake (Gina Milo), the Knights: Sir Dennis Galahad (Sean Allan Krill), the flatulent Sir Bedevere (Bradley Mott), the timid Sir Robin (the outstanding comic turn from Adam Pelty) with the gay Sir Lancelot (John Sanders). With such as cast of misfits, the elements of a fun show are present. With spot-on comic timing, terrific stage chemistry (especially from Matthew Crowle as Patsy) and the wonderfully goofy book and lyrics from Eric Idle, Spamalot unfolds as a swiftly moving musical comedy.
The staging and the innovative dances, especially in the Vegas numbers, gave the show glitz and glamor that included a diva strung on a wire high above the stage encased by a roulette wheel. How Vegas!
Spamalot is more than a zany comedy. It is a musical with several show stopping numbers that gently spook many other musicals from Fiddler on the Roof to West Side Story to the techniques of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s shows. From campy numbers such as “He is Not Dead Yet” to “The Song That Goes Like This, ” we realize that nothing is sacred to this guys. What a treat!
Anthems like “Find Your Grail” and “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life” and the wacky “I’m All Alone” offer both inspirational and funny moments. Spamalot finds weird ways to tell King Arthur’s quest for the Holy Grail that includes a chorus of dancing girls, flatulent Frenchman, killer rabbits and an armless and legless knight. Crazy enough for you? You’ll be laughing yourself silly.
Spamalot is a marvel that blends Pythonesque comedy with Broadway musical elements that plays as a clever spoof of a spoof resulting in a manically wonderful night at the theatre. Matthew Crowle, Sean Allan Krill, Jackson Evens and Adam Pelty were particularly amazing. The first regional production of Spamalot is a major success. I’m sure Drury Lane Theatre will earn the rights to more based on this terrific production. Even folks who hated Spamalot before loved this production. Don’t miss this fun show.
Talk Theatre in Chicago podcast
Date Reviewed: January 6, 2011
For full show information, check out the Spamalot page at Theatre In Chicago.
At Drury lane Theatre, Oakbrook Terrace, IL, call 630-530-0111, www.drurylaneoakbrook.com, tickets $31 – $38 – $40 – $45, Wednesdays at 1:30 pm, Thursdays at 1:30 and 8 pm, Fridays at 8:30 pm, Saturdays at 5 & 8:30 pm, Sundays at 2 & 6 pm, running time is 2 hours, 20 minutes with intermission, through March 6, 2011