BWW Reviews: Hilarity Reigns in GCP's SPAMALOT
If you haven't made your way down to Good Company Players' production of "Spamalot" yet, there's something you've forgotten, and that's to "laugh and smile and dance and sing." Based on every dry-humored person's favorite film, "Monty Python and the Holy Grail," the riotous musical stays true to the movie's ridiculous antics while adding in some new elements that give the story an actual point and a feel-good takeaway.
King Arthur and his knights are celebrating in Camelot when God (a pre-recorded Eric Idle) pays them a visit and tells them they must find the Holy Grail used at the Lord's Last Supper and, consequently, find their own grails within themselves. Along the way, they run into some unpleasant French insults and cancan dancers, their giant cow, a Black Knight with minor "flesh wounds," the famed Knights of Ni, an enchanter named Tim, a killer bunny rabbit, and more.
And, of course, since singing makes all things better, a slew of hilarious and random musical numbers are thrown in for good measure, making for two and half hours of nonstop amusement aided by a multi-talented cast that will tap dance its way into your heart. Knights in shining armor tap dancing - quite the picture, isn't it? That's the kind of humor Monty Python specializes in.
Chris Carsten plays a valiant and proud King Arthur, followed by coconut wielding servant Patsy (an endearing Steve Souza), the Strangely Flatulent Sir Bedevere (the energetic Dominic Grijalva), the dashingly handsome Sir Galahad (an entertainingly pompous Teddy Maldonado), the homicidally brave Sir Lancelot (played with amazing enthusiasm by Daniel Hernandez, especially in the characters big "revealing" number), Sir Robin the not quite so brave as Sir Lancelot (danced and sung with character by Greg Grannis) and the aptly named Sir Not Appearing in This Show. Brandon Delsid, Gordon Moore and Tyler Branco also play various key roles Monty Python fans will recognize from the film, while Emily Pessano shows off her amazing vocal skills as the Lady of the Lake, adorned in gorgeous costumes designed by Ginger Kay Lewis-Reed.
Director Laurie Pessano adds plenty of unique bits to her staging of the musical, and the entire cast had an amazing energy and life about them, which helped distract from consistent sound system problems. Those minor problems are sure to disappear as the production continues its run through March 17 at Roger Rocka's Dinner Theatre.
Although Roger Rocka's service is slow, the restaurant provides a delicious menu of dinner and brunch selections depending on the day you attend. For dinner, expect sweet Chicken Marsala with spinach and mushrooms mixed in a side pasta, the catch of the day, a Bleu Cheese Butter Sirloin with mashed potatoes, and other options. Various drinks named after elements of the show are also available in addition to dessert items such as a rich chocolate cake, ginger cake, orange creamsicle cheesecake and various flavors of smooth ice cream.
The Good Company Players' junior company also makes it traditional appearance before the show, providing a wonderful pre-show of music and dance inspired by royalty like King Arthur.