Book and Lyrics by Eric Idle
Music by John Du Prez and Eric Idle
Directed by David Perkovich
Music Direction by William Underwood
Choreographed by Linda Fortunato
At The Theatre at the Center, Munster
Hilarious Spoof is an Energetic Tribute to Monty Python and Broadway
After seeing several terrific productions of Spamalot, the show still comes off as fresh, clever, and massively entertaining. Director David Perkovich’s Spamalot is one of the best I’ve seen. It work great on Theatre at the Center’s 3/4 thrust stage.
You don’t have to be a Monty Python fanatic to thoroughly enjoy Spamalot, the musical adaptation of the cult classic Monty Python and the Holy Grail. You don’t have to be well-versed in the Ministry of Silly Walks, you don’t have to know the Lumberjack song, and you don’t even really need to fully understand the British comedy troupe’s wacky styling to have a good time at Spamalot. All you need are a sense of humor and a ride to the Theatre at the Center.
All the elements of the classic film are in place: There IS a killer rabbit, there is much rabid silliness, over-the-top comedy, and plenty of nonsense, but the best thing about Spamalot is that the score is a pure delight. John Du Prez and Eric Idle have churned out tuneful and funny songs that fit perfectly into the chaos around them. Included from Monty Python’s Life of Brian is the infamous “Always look on the bright side of life,” which earned applause immediately on audience recognition. Several classic moments from the movie have also become songs – any Python fan will immediately recognize the origins of “I am not dead yet,” “Burn her,” and “Run Away,” – but it is the music, such as “Find your Grail” and “The Song that goes like this” that are the most memorable.
Larry Adams, one of our top leading men, heads the multi-tasking cast of triple threats as King Arthur, and is obviously having a hoot performing this show. Accompanied at all times by his loyal coconut-clicking manservant Patsy (the fabulous Greg Foster), King Arthur gallivants around England collecting his knights of the round table, getting in and out of sticky situations, and encountering strange and hilarious people. Most prominent of his assembled knights are the brave Sir Lancelot (talented Sean Fortunato), the not so brave Sir Robin (Larry Wyatt), the dashing Sir Galahad (Jarrod Zimmerman) and the flatulent Sir Bedevere (Jake Mahler.)
Though there are chorus girls all around, the lone female actress to be given solo time is the terrific Colette Todd, who shows her comic acumen as The Lady of the Lake, The Witch, The Cow, and later as simply herself in special moment called “The Diva’s Lament.” She’s beautiful, with strong vocals in addition to amazing comic timing.
A common trait of this show is that the actors play several roles. Other than Larry Adams the rest of the cast does double and triple duty (and more) popping up in various scenes in different characters. Standing out in this respect was the multi-talented Sean Fortunato who earned huge laughs and applause for his additional appearances as the French Taunter, The Knight of Ni, and Tim the Enchanter, among others. Jarrod Zimmerman also scores terrifically with his additional roles, The Black Knight (of “It’s only a flesh wound” fame) and Prince Herbert’s Father. Larry Wyatt nails it with his “You won’t succeed on Broadway” number, but is amusing wherever he shows up. The humor is frantic and the high energy and stage craft is amazing.
Monty Python’s Spamalot at The Theatre at the Center is one of their funniest and one of best staged show you see this season. It is refreshing to see a regional theatre, with limited resources, deliver such a smart production of a difficult to stage musical. This Spamalot is a winner!
At The Theatre at the Center, 1040 Ridge Road, Munster, IN, www.theatreatthecenter.com, 219-836-3255, tickets $40 -$44, Wednesdays & Thursdays at 2pm, Fridays & Saturdays at 8pm, Sundays at 2:30 pm,, Select Thursday & Sunday evenings and Saturday matinees.