Python at the Playhouse
By Alison Tingley
Spamalot is now playing at the Erie Playhouse. With book and lyrics by Eric Idle and music by John Du Prez and Eric Idle, Spamalot is described as a musical “lovingly ripped off from the motion picture Monty Python and the Holy Grail.” It’s like the movie, but not like the movie. In 2005, the original Broadway production of Spamalot, won 3 Tony awards including Best Musical. Almitra Clerkin directs this production. She also choreographs it along with Heidi Sheehan.
Spamalot, if you don’t already know, is the story of King Arthur’s attempt to recruit knights for his Round Table and to find the Holy Grail. He manages to put together a band of unlikely heroes: Sir Robin, Sir Lancelot, Sir Galahad, Sir Bedevere, and, of course, Patsy. Guided by the Lady of the Lake, together and separately they go looking for the Holy Grail. I don’t want to go into more details, because I don’t want to give anything away.
The cast includes Shawn Clerkin (King Arthur), Charles Corritore (Patsy), Chris Bucci (Sir Robin), Rich Tryzbiak (Sir Lancelot), Patrick Thiem (Sir Galahad), Mike Hayes (Sir Bedevere), Kate Amatuzzo (The Lady of the Lake), and Will Steadman (Prince Herbert). As in the movie, several of the actors play multiple roles.
This show is hysterically hilarious and hilariously hysterical. I laughed through the entire production. I couldn’t stop. Not that I tried. The casting for this show was dead-on. Everyone is absolutely perfect. They sing, they dance, they act, and they’re goofy. Clerkin’s mannerisms are perfect. Corritore is flawless. Bucci is wonderfully wimpy. Tryzbiak is superbly bold. Thiem is fantastically humble. Hayes is quirkily book-smart. Steadman is delightfully charming. Amatuzzo is breathtakingly brilliant. In other words, and I may have already mentioned this, everyone is absolutely perfectly hilarious.
The previous statement includes the rest of the cast: Don Baxter, Michael Burns, T.J. Faulkner, David W. Mitchell, Bruce Rockwell, Allen Smith, Kristen Henry, Denise Hesch, Laurie Fitzgerald, Jenna Lindberg, Rachel Rudd, and Heidi Sheehan.
The songs are so funny and well done. The dancing is adorable. The music, under the direction of Andrew Rainbow, is great. The set and costumes are wonderfully outrageous. The choreography is fabulous. The direction is stellar.
Spamalot runs through September 29. Have your breakfast of spam, spam, spam, spam, spam, and spam, dust off your dead parrot, grab your two empty halves of coconut, and go see this show! And don’t avert your eyes! If you don’t laugh your ass off during this show, then just go ahead and unfriend me on Facebook. If you’re not a Monty Python fan, but still enjoy clever wit mixed with utter nonsense, you will still enjoy this show. For more information and tickets call the Erie Playhouse box office at 814-454-2852 or go online to www.erieplayhouse.org.