Spamalot: A lot to enjoy in this Orpheus Musical Theatre Society production

Reviewed by Iris Winston

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You will laugh a lot at Spamalot and smile a lot for long after you move out of the Monty Python lens on Camelot.

Orpheus Musical Theatre Society hams it up (a lot) perfectly attuned to playwright/lyricist Eric Idle’s quirky humour and political incorrectness. (The principle is: insult everybody and nobody can be offended.)

Under the skillful direction of Bob Lackey, the baton of musical director Terry Duncan and the bright, witty choreography of Christa Cullain, the musical “lovingly ripped off from the motion picture Monty Python and the Holy Grail” is a delight from silly opening scene to the final reprise of looking on the bright side of life.

As King Arthur (Thomas Franzky) and his faithful but unappreciated attendant/packhorse (Réjean Mayer) collect knights for the Round Table, we meet the Pythonesque versions of the well-known Sir Lancelot (Dennis Van Staalduinen) and Sir Galahad (Gab Desmond) and the lesser known flatulent Sir Bedevere (Jim Tanner) and cowardly Sir Robin (Shaun Toohey) and even Sir Not-appearing (Mathieu-Philippe Perras) — briefly, of course — and the Lady of the Lake aka Guinevere (Andrea Black).

The most memorable aspect of all the performances from this well chosen, high energy cast is joy. The production speaks of fun for everyone, from occasionally slightly risqué costuming to almost cartoon-like sets, with lighting and sound to keep audiences in the mood to enjoy the humour, the parody and the knifing of all that is definitely not holy in the search for the Grail.

Among the highlights of this consistently entertaining show is the lively presentation of I Am Not Dead Yet with a splendid version of Not Dead Fred from J. Taylor Morris. Mayer, always a fine performer, is at the top of his game as the put-upon Patsy and Toohey runs away with his fearful Robin. Black gives due emphasis to the ironic aspects of her role and looks terrific in her sparkling Cher-like (or is that Abba-esque?) jumpsuit and Franzky is in splendid voice as Arthur.

The Monty Python gang would be proud to see the Orpheus treatment of Spamalot. Run, don’t walk, to get tickets for a show that guarantees a lot of laughs.

Spamalot continues at Centrepointe Theatre to March 16.

Spamalot

Book and lyrics by Eric Idle

Music by John Du Prez and Eric Idle

Orpheus Musical Theatre Society


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