Monty Python’s Spamalot is both ridiculously absurd and cleverly brilliant at the same time. It’s no surprise the Broadway hit won the Tony Award for Best Musical in 2005. Inspired by the 1975 film, “Monty Python and the Holy Grail,” the show features shrewd content, hilarious musical numbers and overacting as hell.
The Rose Center Theater brings the show back to Orange County, CA now through March 5, 2016.
The setting is England, 932 A.D. King Arthur (Chris Caputo) gallantly “rides” across the stage accompanied by his trusty companion and…umm steed, Patsy (Brion Kerry) who follows him around hitting two coconut shells together to emulate the sound of horse’s hooves.
King Arthur of Britian is looking for a few good men (insert joke here) to join him in Camelot. Eventually, he assembles the “The Knights of the Round Table.” They include Sir Bedevere, The Strangely Flaculent (Cliff Senior), Sir Dennis Galahad, The Dashingly Handsome (Wade Wooldridge), Sir Lancelot, The Homicidally Brave (Vincent Aniceto) and Sir Robin, The Not-Quite-So-Brave-as-Sir-Lancelot (Garrett Brown).
But there is some balance to this sausage fest, enter The Lady of the Lake (Melissa Cook), who is summoned to validate Arthur’s claimants as King and transform Doubting Dennis into Sir Galahad, while singing beautifully in a song that goes on and on and on.
What happens in Camelot stays in Camelot, as the Knights whoop it up with showgirls and The Lady of the Lake transforms herself into a lounge singer in a Vegas-esque musical number aptly titled “Knights of the Round Table.”
In the midst of their revelry, God instructs the Knights to seek out the Holy Grail. The Lady of the Lake sends them off on their journey with words of encouragement in the song “Find Your Grail,” which I might add is arguably my favorite song from the show. I say arguably because I have many favorites from the show really.
During their quest for the chalice, something happens to the characters (insert moral lesson here) as each starts to discover their own inner grail. For some the process comes naturally and for others a little coaxing is needed like in the number “His Name Is Lancelot.”
The songs/lyrics written by Eric Idle and John Du Prez are the driving force behind the show. After all, without songs, a great musical would simply be a great play.
Without a doubt, the highlight of the RCT’s production is the stellar principal cast. Chris Caputo (King Arthur) commands the stage with his presence. Interestingly enough, he was also in charge of the production’s Lighting and Set Design. Melissa Cook (The Lady of the Lake) is absolutely striking and steals each scene she’s in. Not to mention her vocals are top notch. The two other standout performers include Brion Kerry (Patsy) who has great comedic timing plus delivers a true, heartfelt performance in “I’m All Alone” and Garrett Brown (Sir Robin) who performs “You Won’t Succeed In Broadway” as spot on as his predecessor, David Hyde Pierce did on Broadway.
Unfortunately, this production did have its flaws as well. The rather large ensemble often served as distractions from the leads during their respective numbers. The original Broadway production featured a cast of 23 versus the 40 performers in this show. Additionally, some of the younger cast members, although talented, made watching the scenes with adult-themed content a bit awkward.
Overall, this stage production does not disappoint. I recommend you gallop to catch one of the few remaining performances. By the end of the show you’ll be looking at the bright side of life!
To purchase tickets contact the Rose Center Theater box office at (714) 793-1150 or visit their website at http://www.rosecentertheater.com/