Theatre Information

CenterStage Monty Python’s Spamalot

By • Jan 12th, 2013 • Category: Reviews
Monty Python’s Spamalot
Broadway in Richmond
CenterStage, Carpenter Center, Richmond, VA
Through January 13th
2:10 with one intermission
Reviewed January 11th, 2013

Another entry has been made into my bucket list of “need to see shows.” This one came in the shape of a Holy Grail! Broadway in Richmond is presenting Monty Python’s Spamalot at the Carpenter Center at Richmond CenterStage.

This Broadway show is presented in a Broadway quality theater, with a Broadway quality atmosphere, sound and lighting equipment. The theater itself is a spectacle to behold, reminiscent of the classic opera houses and Vaudeville Theaters of old.

As for the show, it is an ingenious mix of classic Monty Python material intertwined with modern references — and even many local references written into the script. There’s even some surprising and funny audience participation.

There’s the classic Monty Python shtick and slapstick, including men dressed as women; but also gorgeous women dressed as…women. The show even utilizes many of the well-known, low-budget Monty Python animations via a huge projection backdrop. Even Eric Idle himself makes an appearance of sorts as the voice of God.

“King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table first embarked on a search for The Holy Grail in the very, very low-budget 1975 movie, ‘Monty Python and the Holy Grail.’ The film was written by the Pythons and directed by Terry Gilliam and Terry Jones. It was produced by Mark Forstater with music by De Wolfe and Neil Innes. Python Pictures Limited re-released the film in 2001, with a PG rating.”

Monty Python’s Spamalot was “lovingly ripped-off” from that motion picture. It won three Tony Awards including Best Musical in 2005, and a Grammy Award for Best Musical Show Album in 2006.

Clearly a large segment of the near sell out audience were Monty Python fans — both young and old. All many of the actors had to do was make an entrance, and the audience immediately burst out in laughter and applause knowing some of what was about to come. Again, having seen the movie several times, I was pleased with not only the addition of the songs, which were all humorous yet melodic and memorable, but also new twists in the dialogue and plot. I am not one who is prone to LOL in public; yet I found myself bursting into laughter, along with the rest of the audience, repeatedly. For me the best scene takes place at the end of Act 1 in France. Even the overture was funny.

The entire cast was of the highest quality, but the two principal actors, Arthur Rowan as Arthur and Abigail Raye as the Lady of the Lake, were stellar. Rowan’s deep majestic singing voice and comic timing were a pleasure to watch. Raye’s range of acting and singing styles were amazing.

Just like this weekend’s rare January heat wave, Monty Python’s Spamalot is only here until Sunday. I promise you it will help you “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life,” and you will surely have a Good Knight!

The Knights of the Round Table
The Knights of the Round Table

The Cast (in order of appearance)

  • Historian, Not Dead Fred, French Guard, Minstrel, Prince Herbert, Mayor, Dennis’ Mother, Sir Bedevere : Joe Beuerlein
  • Black Knight, Prince Herbert’s Father: Thomas DeMarcus
  • King Arthur: Arthur Rowan
  • Patsy, Guard 2: Glenn Giron
  • Sir Robin, Guard 1, Brother Maynard: Kasidy Devlin
  • Sir Lancelot, The French Taunter, Knight of Ni, Tim the Enchanter: Adam Grabau
  • Sir Dennis of Galahad, Concirde: Joshua Taylor Hamilton
  • The Lady of the Lake: Abigail Raye
  • Sir Not Appearing: Andrew Leggieri
  • Monk: Jason Elliott Brown
  • God: Eric Idle
  • French Guards: Jason Elliott Brown, Andrew Leggieri
  • Minstrels: Kimber Benedict, Jason Elliott Brown, Carl Deforrest Hendin
  • Sir Bors: Carl Deforrest Hendin
  • Ensemble: Matthew Alexander, Barbara Jo Bednarczuk, Kimber Benedict, Jason Elliott Brown, Carl Deforrest Hendin, Andrew Leggieri, Mckayla Marso, Amy Owens, Alec Varcas, Ryan Jacob Wood

The Crew

  • Director: Mike Nichols
  • Direction Recreated by: BT McNicholl
  • Choreography: Casey Nicholaw
  • Choreography Recreated by: Scott Taylor
  • Lighting Design: Mike Baldassari
  • Original Scenic and Costume Design: Tim Hatley
  • Scenic Design Modifications: James Kronzer
  • Sound Design: Craig Cassidy
  • Projection Design: Elaine McCarthy
  • Casting: Mark Minnick
  • Musical Supervisor: Steven M. Bishop
  • Musical Director: Nolan Bon vouloir
  • Tour marketing/ Press Representative: Aleman PR/ Phillip Aleman
  • Director of Operations: Lisa Mattia
  • Technical Supervisor: Scott Orlesky
  • Company Manager: Tanner Van Kampen
  • Conductor: Emily Croome

Disclaimer: CenterStage provided two complimentary media tickets to ShowBizRadio for this review.

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