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"Spamalot" stays true to "Holy Grail" while adding extra doses of hilarity

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OKLAHOMA CITY – Thinking back to last night’s Lyric Theatre performance of the side-splitting Monty Python’s Spamalot musical, I can honestly say there were few moments over the course of two hours when I wasn’t laughing hysterically.

And yes, as you may well know, this is an Eric Idle-led stage adaptation of the 1975 comedy Monty Python and the Holy Grail, the classic comedy which featured King Arthur and His Knights of the Round Table as they bumble across the medieval countryside seeking the holy relic as featured at The Last Supper, a task as requested by large-footed God.

Assembling his knights with loyal, coconut-husk-wielding Patsy (a terrific Elliott Mattox) at his side, King Arthur (a very Graham Chapman-esque Steve Blanchard) bumps into all your favorite characters from the flim from the French Taunter to Prince Herbert (James Michael Avance) to The Black Knight (whose limbs are cut off by a bewildered King Arthur).

All your favorite characters are here and seeing them on stage is an absolute treat. Director Ashley Wells and her very talented cast

The knights are quite unique, from Sir Lancelot (Monte Riegel Wheeler), who does not have an eye for the ladies, as it turns out, to Matthew Alvin Brown’s cowardly Sir Robin who is trailed by all-too-honest minstrels.

He was not in the least bit scared / To be mashed into a pulp / Or to have his eyes gouged out, and his elbows broken …” the minstrels sing as Sir Robin looks alarmed and aghast while the audience laughs hysterically.

Seeing two rabbits – a Trojan Rabbit and a killer rabbit – well, reminds one just how funny bunnies both wooden and well, of the puppet persuasion – can be.

And there are areas where the musical differs from the film, with opening scene “The Fish Schlapping Song” featuring not medieval England but … Finland? The diva-ish Lady of the Lake (“Whatever Happened to My Part?”), played by strong-voiced Meredith Inglesby, has her own … get this… “Laker Girls,” of course, who dance and cheer behind her as she belts out a number.

And the songs are dynamic.

Python vet and Spamalot creator Eric Idle, who wrote “Always Look On The Bright Side of Life” for 1979’s Monty Python’s Life of Brian incorporates the comedy tune – with its infectious whistling – into a scene in Act II.

“Find Your Grail” has its moments while you feel for sidekick Patsy when Arthur sings “I’m All Alone” when Patsy is standing at his side. And you also find out what it requires to get a hit on Broadway. A while song is devoted to it. 

And there’s even a bit of audience participation at the end that comes as a real surprise. Makes you really want to “find your grail.”

There is still time to catch Monty Python's Spamalot this weekend.

There's an 8 p.m. performance at the Civic Center Music Hall tonight and two performances tomorrow - 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. For more information on tickets go to lyrictheatreokc.com or call 405-524-9312.

 

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Andrew W. Griffin

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Andrew W. Griffin received his Bachelor of Science in Journalism from...

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Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

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