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SPAMALOT Kavinoky Theatre
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Jan 18, 2019, 13:22
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Through February 3
SPAMALOT Kavinoky Theatre

See it.
That’s the best advice for the Kavinoky’s production of “Spamalot.”
I don’t know what impresario Loraine O’Donnell spent on this production, but every penny was well spent on the show, the costumes, the cast and even the giant screen which now hangs on the rear wall of the old theater.
The show is the Monty Python version of all those medieval tales of King Arthur, the Round Table and stories of knightly derring-do, all done to the sounds of a ten-person orchestra.
It’s silly but intended to be.
Since there is no historical base for King A and all the rest, Python Eric Idle and John Du Prez were free to do whatever they wanted with all the variants of the story, here further reworked by director and choreographer Lynne Kurdziel Formato (with some sound help from Geoffrey Tocin).
This is the quest for the Holy Grail as in “Monty Python and the Holy Grail,” that comic movie tale of the knights of the Round Table and the legendary cup.
This is never serious, expanded by some actors who understand how to be comic without rug chewing, Greg Gjurich’s King, Louis Colaiacovo’s Sir Robin, Arin Dandes’ Patsy and Michele Marie Roberts’ Lady of the Lake.
The show is known for its songs, especially “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life.”
It’s the kind of show where you ask: What are these idiots going to sing and dance about next?
In these times, that concept of a bunch of guys sitting around the Round Table until hit with a desire for a quest, saddling up their horse, putting on their armor and riding out to a violent attempt to right a perceived wrong isn’t as popular as it was in the past.
That’s the key to what Idle and DuPrez do here, taking apart the old stories and reassembling them in a way appropriate to today.
The quest. The Grail. The French castle. The unrequited love of Patsy. The incredible diva status of the Lady of the Lake. The Laker Girls.
Can you imagine some movie studio from the Thirties or the Forties ridiculing the social attitudes of the times?
It’s what Mel Brooks did with “Blazing Saddles.”
Basically, here, you just sit back and watch the cast members sing and dance, even tap dance, their way through one version of medieval chivalry.
The cast had a little more rehearsal time than usual for a local theater company and that extra time really shows in some of the production numbers, like “Knights of the Round Table” or “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life.”
Kurdziel Formato has those strong performance, Gjurich, Roberts with “The Diva’s Lament (What Ever Happened to My Part?) or Colaiacovo’s “You Won’t Succeed On Broadway.”
Backstage at this show must be chaotic and efficient to keep this machine going without slowing down, with massive costume changes as the ensemble shifts characters.
Kurdziel Formato has that strong ensemble, Steve Copps’ Sir Lancelot, Dudney Joseph’s Sir Galahad, Robert Cooke’s Sir Bedevere and everybody else.
“Spamalot” even has Spam.
The director never loses control so that Spam turns into ham and that’s good.
Again, see it.
That’s “Spamalot.”

A.W.

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