Regional Reviews: Washington, D.C.
Monty Python's Spamalot
Also see Susan's review of Love's Labor's Lost
The Knights of the Round Table, rude French guards and a singing prince are just part of the fun that can be found in the Broadway hit, Monty Python's Spamalot. The Tony Award winning musical is now on tour and has landed at National Theatre in downtown DC.
David Turner, Rick Holmes, Bradley Dean, Christopher Gurr, Michael Siberry
Based on the film Monty Python and the Holy Grail, the musical follows the journey of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table as they search for the Holy Grail. The original screenplay was the brainchild of Python members Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Michael Palin, and Terry Jones. Idle, who wrote the book for the show, teamed up with John Du Prez to create the score for a piece that is filled with lots of laughs.
Fans of the film will not be disappointed with this stage adaptation. The humor is just as silly and the piece is enhanced by an entertaining score and the creative choreography provided by Casey Nicholaw. The whole show is wrapped up in a neat package by acclaimed director Mike Nichols.
The cast is made up of a group of highly talented individuals. Michael Siberry plays King Arthur with skill and has great chemistry with Jeff Dumas who plays his faithful servant Patsy. Pia Glenn is a lovely Lady of the Lake. She is a beautiful young woman with a wonderful voice and a terrific sense of comic timing. Additionally, Rick Holmes (Sir Lancelot) and Bradley Dean (Sir Galahad) provide many hilarious moments.
However, there are two particular standouts. David Turner is excellent as Sir Robin. Not only is he a strong actor, but his vocal talent and dancing skill far outshine David Hyde Pierce, who played Sir Robin in the original Broadway cast. Another cast member of note is Tom Deckman. Deckman plays a number of characters including Not Dead Fred, a French Guard and Prince Herbert. He is a versatile performer who garners many big laughs.
The set and costume design by Tim Hatley was created in the distinct Monty Python style. Hugh Vanstone's lighting design does much to enhance each scene. If there is one weak point, it is David Brian Brown's wigs. At times, they look so artificial that it is distracting.
Spamalot is not high art. Simply put, it is just a good time. Spamalot is definitely a must-see for this season. King Arthur and his friends will be at the National Theatre through July 9th.
The National Theatre
Cast (in order of appearance): Tom Deckman, Jeff Dumas, Michael Siberry, David Turner, Rick Holmes, Bradley Dean, Christopher Gurr, Pia Glenn, Gavin Lodge, Justin Patterson, Christopher Sutton, John Cleese, Justin Patterson, Kevin Crewell, Darryl Semira, Robyn Hurder, Naomi Kakuk, Amanda Kloots, Nikki Long, Esther Stilwell, Craig Waletzko, Paula Wise