By Bob Evans
Only two performances remain to see Shawnee Mission Park’s initial summer offering, Monty Python’s madcap musical based on Monty Python and the Holy Grail, “Spamalot” were King Arthur and his cohorts, The Knights of the Round Table, sing and dance their way into history and the audience’s hearts.
The show opened June 2 and ends June 10, Rated PG 16 with a book and lyrics by Eric Idle and music by John Du Prez. One of K. C. best directors undertook the project to bring the Broadway sensation to Theatre in the Park audiences and give them a chance to enjoy the whimsical, coconutty, misadventures of Arthur, Galahad, Lancelot, Robin, and Patsy (the historically forgotten aide to Arthur).
“Spamalot” brings absurdity to the forefront from the opening number in Finland and proceeds to relocate in England for the duration of the extra-silly, extravaganza. The show features singing, tap dancing, and the favorite characters from the Holy Grail movie. The music and dance makes that version pale in comparison.
“Lovingly ripped off from the classic film comedy Monty Python and the Holy Grail, “Spamalot” retells the legend of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table, and features a bevy of beautiful show girls, not to mention cows, killer rabbits, and French people. Did we mention the bevy of beautiful show girls? The 2005 Broadway production won three Tony Awards, including “Best Musical,” and received 14 Tony Award nominations,” Theatre in the Park said.
Brian Larios leads the merriment as King Arthur, galloping along with Patsy following and providing the sound effects. When not banging coconuts together, Patsy sings and taps his way in two solid numbers. Music from the show includes: “The Song That Goes Like This,” “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life,” and more.
“Spamalot” contains certified fun from start to finish. The cast, costumes, singing, acting, comedy, lighting choreography, strike a beautiful collaboration between production and cast. Not a weak aspect is seen in the show. Theatre in the Park scores a bull’s-eye with “Spamalot.” No one will be disappointed in the show.
Generally, “Spamalot” preforms indoors and the risk of taking the show outside might cause some of the laughter to be lost without the confines of a formal theater, but Theatre in the Park’s rendition avoids that pitfall with Nichols’ direction and the cast fine tuned on every comedic
element of the show.
Several cast members stand out and deserve a nod. Watch for strong performances from Brian Larios, Wyatt Walberg, Ken Koval, Kipp Simmons, Guy Gardner, and Jake Leet. As for the female, love interest, watch Lydsey Agron let her best diva impersonation to rule as Lady of the Lake.
Cast: King Arthur, Brian Larios; Lancelot, Guy Gardner; Patsy, Wyatt Walberg; Galahad, Ken Koval; Robin/French Taunt, Kipp Simmons; Bedevere, Russ Barker; Lady of the Lake, Lyndsey Agron; Maynard, Curt Crespino; Historian/Minstrel/Ensemble, Alec Bridges; Herbert, Jake Leet; Not Dead Fred/Ensemble, Noah Kahn; Black Knight/Ensemble, Tyler Armer.
Dancing Female Ensemble: Emily Bridges, Rosemarie Maddock, Kara Mason, Sienna Radice, Danielle Johnson, Katherine Ruprecht. Dancing Male Ensemble: Carson Tate, Sam Wise, Dalton Homolka, Steven Scheffe. Vocal Female Ensemble: Ezri Killeen, Rachel Adcock, Laura Irwin, Jeannette Bonjour. Vocal Male Ensemble: Tony Francisco, Matt Walberg, James Azeltime, Langston Hemenway.
Two nights remain to see Theatre in the Park’s “Spamalot.” Do not miss the show if you like to laugh. It’s absurdity gone overboard. Nothing but fun and laughs in this show. And, it’s fine for families. There’s not a lot of language or sexuality to be of concern.
Tags: Theatre in the Park, “Spamalot”, Kansas City Performing Arts, Kansas City Theater, Kansas City Arts & Entertainment, Shawnee Mission Park