BWW Reviews: The LOT's 'SPAMALOT' is Full of Humour, Enthusiasm and Quirky Fun
SPAMALOT may be based on the Monty Python film Monty Python and the Holy Grail, but the musical differs greatly from the film on which it is based. While both the musical and film have hilarity in common, the story's transition onto stage provides some interesting differences. The musical, which premiered on Broadway in 2005 has since graced stages internationally and garnered three Tony awards. The original Broadway cast of the show that spoofs the Arthurian legend boasted Sara Ramirez, Christian Borle, Tim Curry and more! This may be quite the act to follow, but the Lower Ossington Theatre's current production of the laugh-out-loud show does a good job at creating a similar atmosphere and staying true to the overall show.
The LOT's production of SPAMALOT stars Emma Ferrante as The Lady of the Lake, Jason Gray as King Arthur, Evan Dowling as Patsy, Ryan Jeffrey and Sir Lancelot, Mitchell Court as Sir Robin, and Thomas James Finn as Sir Galahad. Together, this ensemble cast keeps the show moving and keeps the audiences roaring with laughter. The acting, singing and comedic timing is on point, but what really brings this story to life is the incredible set and costume work. The LOT frequently puts on small shows with a cast that carries it and makes the otherwise small show feel larger than life, but this production's great cast complimented the larger than life costuming and set. Additionally, the shows integration of technology with projections and pre-done audio narrations adds to the hilarity of the show.
SPAMALOT expertly utilized their grand set pieces ranged from trees, castles and gates that were impressively realistic and multi purposeful. The medieval set pieces and props were only further amplified by the phenomenal costuming; the knights were clad in authentic looking armor, and the dancers went through a series of costume changes, each one better than the next. The best costume in the production is that of Emma Ferrante's Lady of the Lake whose over-the-top outfits really helped create this over-the-top character.
The dancing was yet another thing that brought this show to life. Dancers Brittany Smith, Jennifer Thiessen, Laura Squire, Monica Szustakowsi, Robbie Fenton, Trevor Gray, Greg Carruthers and Fracccs Esteve brought an enthusiasm to the stage that is refreshing. At all times the dancers were in sync and baring huge smiles and infectious attitudes. The dancing ensemble acted through their performance and brought a sense of live and excitement to each and every dance scene.
This show is high energy, demanding endless vigor from its ensemble. While the musical does have its leading characters, everyone worked together to mesh with one another and create hilarious on stage dynamics. Jason Gray made for an impressive King Arthur, however his greatest moments came from his on stage relationships with his sidekick/mock horse Patsy played by Evan Dowling and The Lady of the Lake (Ferrante)
While the cast's comedic timing was on point, the jokes and skits ranged from smile, to giggle worthy, and to laugh out loud worthy. Some jokes could easily go over ones head, however there are moments in the show that will guarantee a reaction from the audience. This show may have an over arcing plot line of King Arthur and his less than competent knights search for the "Holy Grail" but the show seemed more like a series of skits tied together by this continuous plot line. While some skits were funnier than others, audiences are bound to be impressed by at least a few of the scenes adapted from the Monty Python movie. The score readily complements the book, with the stand out number being "The Song That Goes Like This," that spoofs the generic show-tune ballad thought to be in every musical.
The LOT's SPAMALOT is all around a good time and is bound to leave audience members in a good mood. The show breaks the fourth wall on numerous occasions, bringing the audience into the show. In fact, the audience plays quite an integral part in the show.
SPAMALOT as a whole does not just parody the iconic story of King Arthur, but also pop culture and the theatre in general. The production is ideal for anyone looking for a fun night out and enjoys to laugh.
SPAMALOT is playing through August 3rd. Tickets are available online at TicketWise.
Photo: Seanna Kennedy