Monday, June 22, 2015

theatre review - MONTY PYTHON'S SPAMALOT - Paradise Valley Community College - June 19

the cast of Spamalot
Photo by Tiffany Marie Bolock
Click here to read my complete review (highlights below) at

"Written by the zany Monty Python comedy team...the hit 1975 movie Monty Python and The Holy Grail humorously told of King Arthur's quest for the Holy Grail. Almost 30 years after the film premiered, Idle created a musical version of the movie with John Du Prez called Spamalot. ...Paradise Valley Community College just opened their production of this musical comedy and their terrific cast, clear direction, and fine creative elements culminate in a charming and funny production....The plot is fairly basic. King Arthur forms the Knights of the Round Table and with Lancelot, Galahad, Robin and his trusty knave Patsy along for the ride, plus some assistance from the mysterious Lady of the Lake, they go on the search for the Holy Grail. ...The PVCC cast is definitely game for the challenge they have before them, with lots of them playing multiple parts and, under the solid guidance of director Andrea Robertson, ensuring the comic bits land effectively. At just 21, Philip Amerine may be on the young side to play the hapless leader King Arthur, but his make-up and acting choices make him appear much older and he is appropriately stoic and regal in the part...Brenda Goodenberger as the Lady in the Lake...has a lovely, commanding and beautiful voice that has a wide, versatile range and is full of power. Idle and Du Prez wrote several very good songs for the character...and Goodenberger knocks them all out of the park...Christian Boden is having a blast as Patsy...His perfectly agitated expressions and silly faces show Patsy's frustration with his place as Arthur's servant. But he also instills Patsy with a huge dose of warmth that effectively demonstrates his devotion to his beloved King. It is a delightfully silly performance. The men who play Arthur's three main knights are all gifted comics and are having a blast playing these parts. Tyler Lewis is a gem as the self-absorbed, vain and narcissistic Galahad. Lewis has great comic timing and a fantastic voice as well. His duet with Goodenberger of "The Song that Goes Like This" is a showstopper. Sky Donovan is hilarious as the not exactly brave Robin, with perfectly clear diction and a rousing delivery of his big solo "You Won't Succeed on Broadway." Sixteen-year-old Scott Snedden is charming as the somewhat sexually confused Lancelot; his disco coming out moment is a highlight. All of the supporting parts have well-executed comedic timing. The rest of the ensemble does very well with the comic parts and the zany songs, and they chew every possible piece of scenery they can find along the way....Robertson makes the series of vignettes seem cohesive and keeps the show moving along at a fast pace...Ken Goodenberger's musical direction achieves pleasant harmonies from the large cast and his conducting skills are exceptional, achieving a sensational sound from the fourteen-piece orchestra....Spoof and satire run rampant in this show and the cast knows how to play both lowbrow and highbrow humor just fine. With a spirited cast, simple yet effective creative touches and proficient comical direction, PVCC's Spamalot amounts to silly fun."

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