Perhaps, 3-D Theatricals best offering this season, Monty Python’s “Spamalot” is a sharp, quick-witted musical comedy filled with cheeky humor, lewd content and medieval mayhem pushing comedic boundaries and guaranteed to have you in stitches compliments of 3DT’s multi-talented players.
In a nutshell, “Spamalot” parodies Arthurian legend, King Arthur and his quest for the revered chalice. Based on the 1975 movie “Monty Python and the Holy Grail,” the book for the Tony Award-winning musical was written by original Monty Python troupe member Eric Idle.
This production, which opened last weekend at the Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center and now headed to the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts is by far one of the best, capturing all the “Pythonesque” splendor like the esteemed Broadway company.
Yes, it certainly helps that 3-D Theatricals had access to the original Broadway sets and costumes, as explained by director and choreographer Carol Bentley, but the creative team also did an excellent job with casting their final (and certainly biggest) show of the 2016-2017 season.
Broadway’s Martin Kildare leads the Knights of the Round Table as King Arthur. His trusty traveling companion Patsy is played by Erik Scott Romney. Each possess a rich voice and share a number of sometimes hilarious and sometimes heartfelt scenes.
Chelle Denton is sheer perfection as The Lady of the Lake. Her “overacting” is not upstaged by the powerhouse vocals demonstrated in such showstopping numbers as “Find Your Grail” and “Diva’s Lament.”
Making their 3DT debut as Sir Galahad, the Dashingly Handsome (and often dense) is Nick Tubbs. Serving us bravery with a side of flair is Marc Ginsburg as Sir Lancelot. And probably the most underused character Sir Bedevere is played here by Tyler Stouffer.
Among the familiar faces, Jeff Skowron is back as Sir Robin-The-Not-Quite-So-Brave-as-Sir-Lancelot. He easily wins the “best scene stealer” award with his over-the-top antics and priceless facial expressions. Daniel Dawson gives Skowron a run for his money though as lad in distress Prince Herbert.
During their quest, each knight finds what they are looking for, which consequently was inside them all along. But that’s the beauty of Python’s comedic stylings. There’s still a moral to the story buried underneath all the chaos of killer bunnies, flying cows and rude Frenchman.
Sadly, most musicals in the comedy genre don’t get the accolades they truly deserve. I’ll even admit “Spamalot” doesn’t make my top-10 list, however, each time I revisit the production, I fall in love with the musical over and over again.
And if imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then there’s plenty of love going around as they cleverly pay homage (by poking fun) of other megahit musicals like “The Phantom of the Opera,” “West Side Story,” “Fiddler on the Roof,” “Man of La Mancha” and “Les Misérables.”
All kidding aside, the orchestration led by musical director David Lamoureux was on point and showcased the brilliance of John Du Prez, Eric Idle and Neil Innes’ catchy music. Frankly speaking, these songs are really…I mean REALLY good!
With the vast array of pretentious musicals on Broadway, it’s quite refreshing to stumble upon a show that prides itself on silliness. After all, life is way too short to not have a few good laughs.
Though no joke is left unturned, “Spamalot” is more fun than foul. For the ultra conservatives, heed thy warning: you may want to run away, but for the rest of us with a sense of humor, come and have a blast!
Monty Python’s “Spamalot” is opening at the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts on August 18, 2017 and will play through August 27, 2017. Tickets are available by calling the box off at (800) 300-4345 or Order Online.
Photos courtesy of Jesse Ashton Photography