If you don’t mind lots of political incorrectness, fake farts and irreverance, get your tickets to Spamalot now.
I remember enjoying Monty Python and The Holy Grail from which, according to the pr, the musical was “lovingly ripped off”, but am not always up for the Python gang’s humor. But I found myself laughing out loud at the silly on-stage antics of this talented troupe.
The Historian’s (Terrell Carden Reynolds) opening remarks could have been clearer, and the “Hidden Minstrels” are a tad loud to start, but nonetheless they provide a fabulous score for the cast. It’s not easy to open a show and Carden Reynolds certainly warms to his role.
The band is superbly led by youthful musical director, keyboard player and conductor, Lindsay Kaul. The set is simple but highly effective and the costumes are superb. They leave you in no doubt as to the characters’ status and provide some funny moments in themselves. Congratulations to designer Alexandria Barron and coordinator Sandra Miller.
The opening number – Fisch Schlapping Song – gives you an idea of what you are in for; and the debate between two sentries, about whether a swallow could carry a coconut, is hilarious.
The plot is a re-telling of the legend of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. The King is played by Tony Leddimen, backing up from the Vicar of Dibley II. His vocals were a surprise and he plays the role well.
The knights are all well cast. Mark Morabito (Sir Galahad) has already shown theatre audiences his skills in The Producers, and is just as compelling here. Stealing the show, however, is Sarah Morabito as The Lady of the Lake. Her vocals are stunning and she deserves to be seen on Broadway and the West End.
Patsy (Chris Phillips) is basically “the horse’s arse” and King Arthur’s trusty sidekick, and is well played by Phillips. Sir Lancelot (Brandon Stewart) is bold and brave, but not quite what the legend would have you believe. He is wonderfully portrayed by Stewart, as is Prince Herbert by Harley Lindley. Mark Garrett is Sir Robin and has been in many Players Theatre musicals, most recently Sweet Charity. He seems to be getting better with age. Rob Doyle plays Sir Bedevere, and a foreteller of doom who warns the knights of the killer rabbit – you’ll get it when you see it. Daniel Parlevliet is well known to Players’ audiences and plays the French Taunter, tres bien.
The lords and ladies of the ensemble sing and dance up a storm, thanks to choreographer Kate Ford and her assistant Rose Hawkins. Sam Wylie designed the lighting, and in his first stint as director is ably assisted by Simone Sherrin and the entire crew who present a very entertaining musical.