Reviewed by: Ed Goodman, March 13, 2014
Through March 30th
(Gary Marachek as King Arthur )
In the wildy wacky film, "Monty Python and The Holy Grail" King Arthur at the end of the "Camelot Song" says "...lets not go to Camelot, its a silly place...". Trust me when I tell you, he was spot on. The current incarnation of "Spamalot" now on stage at Actors Playhouse in Coral Gables is just as silly, fun, wild and wacky as the movie.
"Spamalot" won the Tony in 2005 for Best Musical and I suspect the reason is that if the voters didn't give them the award, Eric Idle would have written a sequel, "...just to show the bloody fools...". Its not the greatest of theatrical endeavors, but it surely entertains. In true Monty Python fashion it takes the very sword Arthurian legend immortalizes -Excalibur - and skewers anyone who dares come within its range.
In going from the sublime to the ridiculous, "Spamalot" mines gold. It's so over the top funny and stupid you can't help but laugh - and laugh you do at the worst puns, jokes and parodies you've ever heard on stage. But thats what the show is. Thank you Monty Python.
This crew of actors works very hard doing multiple, non-gender specific roles, singing, dancing and generally having a merry olde tyme. We are rewarded with a planned, manic mayhem that fits some sort of zany concept. What fun.
King Arthur (Gary Marachek) and his faithful manservant Patsy (Paul Louis) lead the quest for the mythical Holy Grail through thick, thin, flying cows, rabbits and Frenchmen. Along the way Sir Lancelot (Jim Ballard) the antithesis of the one that ran off with Guinevere, joins up, along with Sir Robin (Gabriel Zenone), Sir Galahad (Shane Tanner) and Sir Belvedere, (Wayne LeGette). They all play multiple roles as does (Jose Luaces) as Not-Dead-Fred and others. Throw in a hot Lady of The Lake (Lindsey Forgey) and off you go on a madcap adventure.
(Lindsey Forgey at The Lady of The Lake)
I can't really call out favorites, since, in the spirit the Monty Python, it's a group effort. When one steps up to the front, the others support and vice versa. It's one for all and all for one, and thats what makes a show like this work. Everyone shares the limelight. All to great effect. Toss in a few tap dance numbers from out of nowhere and off you go.
Musical highlights include: "Always look On The Bright Side Of Life", "Knights of The Round Table", "Find Your Grail", "You Won't Succeed On Broadway" and the "Diva's Lament". Throw in parodies of "Fiddler" "Phantom...", Broadway in general, Sarah Brightman in particular and Las Vegas and there you have it.
David Arisco directs this madcap adventure in true Monty Pythonesque style - which is to say outrageously. Why go for one gag, when you can fit four into a bit? An homage to the silliness that was the hallmark of the Python group. In other words, if you can get to the top...go over it! At times the stage discipline needed to really make a show like this crisp and sharp, seemed to get away from the actors and the mayhem seemed to rule. No sense being too strict about it though; a little madness and looseness works just fine.
Ron Hutchins cheoreography more than fits the show, adding much schtick and many laughs throughout. David Nagy again pulls together a first rate band that covers a lot of musical territory. Too often though, the eight piece group seemed a bit less than needed for the bravado and transitions on stage.
(L-F Wayne LeGette, Shane Tanner, Gabriel Zenone, (F) Lindsey Forgey).
As the song says: "...we eat ham and jam and spam a lot..." and indeed the actors chew enough of that fat, fruit and scenery - to make this a fun romp. If you're up for something completely different, (as M.P. was fond of saying), check out this "Spamalot" at Actors Playhouse. You will laugh.
Tickets: Box Office 305-444-9293 or online at www.actorsplayhouse.org.