SPAMALOT, THE MUSICAL
Produced by Deb Smith and Vivian Tattire
Direction by Monique Essegern with Musical Direction by Ted Niles
by Joe Szekeres
If you haven’t purchased your tickets as of yet, here’s hoping you’re not out of luck. Try, try and try to see this one before it’s gone! ‘Spamalot’ the uproarious musical comedy opened February 11 at the Whitby Courthouse Theatre with a cast of eighteen energetic individuals that it is difficult to mention each by name. Even if you’re not a fan of Monty Python, go and see the silly, goofy and zany antics of this talented group of performers.
To pull off musical comedy of this nature requires individuals with a sharp and keen vision who ‘get’ it. In the able -bodied hands of Monique Essegern and Ted Niles, this production moves at break neck lightning speed. I was fooled in learning there is no orchestra in this production. The use of musical tracks is truly effective. The entire production team behind the stage (and there are A LOT of them) must be commended on every account, as this production would not be successful without them.
Python fans know the plot. The foolish King Arthur (nicely captured by Christopher Sharp who uncannily reminds us of Tim Curry, the original Broadway Arthur) travels around England with his loyal Patsy (an amusing Boyd Tattrie with his trusty coconut shells) recruiting his Knights of the Round Table. When he and his band of misfit knights finally gather in Camelot, they receive a charge from God to find the Holy Grail. The quest brings King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table to strange places and into the company of strange characters, challenging them to keep their heads on straight or die terribly weird deaths.
The supporting actors, who have the daunting task of playing many quick roles as an ensemble, have clearly rehearsed countless hours to maintain realistically the ‘off the wall’ and bizarre nature required for this musical. It is refreshing to see new faces on many of the stages around Durham Region this season, and this production showcases a number of them. Georgia Grant as the Lady of the Lake blows the roof off the Centennial Building with that powerhouse voice. As Sir Robin, Scott Currie reminds us cheekily that in order for a musical to succeed on Broadway, you’ve got to have some……(I’m not going to tell you what is needed as you’ll have to go and see the production for yourselves).
While leaving the theatre, many of the audience were either singing or humming “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life” which can be heard in another successful Python film ‘The Life of Brian’. When you get the audience humming and singing, then you know you’ve a winner on your hands especially in this cold month of February. Get tickets to see this ‘Spamalot” before it’s gone because I guarantee they will move quickly. By the way, how long did it take to build that Killer Rabbit?
SPAMALOT, THE MUSICAL runs February 11 -13, 18 – 20, 25-27 at 8 pm at the Whitby Centennial Building 416 Centre Street South