BWW Interviews: Monty Python's SPAMALOT To Open at Apollo Civic Theater

BWW Interviews: Monty Python's SPAMALOT To Open at Apollo Civic Theater

If you are looking for a thought-provoking and relevant drama featuring heavy moral dilemmas and questions about human nature.......then you should keep looking. "And now, for something completely different" the musical comedy Monty Python's Spamalot will open May 2 at the Apollo Civic Theater in Martinsburg, WV.

Directed by Micheal Stiles, with musical direction by Allison Shafer and choreography by Kat Ward, the area premiere of Spamalot will continue the Apollo Civic Theater's 100th annual season.

Monty Python's Spamalot, "lovingly ripped off from Monty Python and the Holy Grail" is a musical spoof of the Camelot legend and famous Arthurian fables. Based on the 1975 Monty Python movie, the musical opened in 2005 and no musical, pop culture reference or Monty Python skit is left unscathed. From silly walks to flying cows to vaudeville sight gags and fart jokes, as a musical spoof from one of the most well-known comedy troupes of all time, audiences can certainly expect varied types of humor.

"Delving into Monty Python material, but putting your own spin on it, while staying true to the Monty Python experience is really enjoyable. Because I play different roles, I have to make sure each role has a different, unique character, especially the transition from Dennis to Sir Gallahad, in going from a peasant to a knight. This show adds extra layers from the movie, but it is not a re-hashing of the movie" said Alan Harner, who plays Sir Gallahad and various ensemble roles.

"The show uses a lot of different British humor I don't think audiences are used to" said ensemble member Kyle Tirak.

"The only challenge [for me] is keeping the comedy straight. I'm tempted to "ham it up", but King Arthur has to be the straight man in this comedy" said Rick Herlinger, who plays King Arthur.

Audiences can certainly expect plenty of laughter during this spoof-tacular musical.

"It's outrageous, hilarious and irreverent. If you want to laugh, come see this show." said ensemble member Jim Zuna. "The audience will have as much fun as we're having and laugh at everything" said Herlinger.

Or, to put it bluntly, " If you don't laugh at this show, you are dead" added director Michael Stiles.

The cast has definitely been enjoying the time in rehearsals while working (and laughing) their way through this musical.

"The cast has been wonderful. When you get creative, talented people together to work with, it is really wonderful" said Herlinger.

"It's been a really great time in rehearsals. There's nothing stuffy or uptight about this show and it's a great experience for everyone" said Stephen T. Wheeler, who plays Sir Lancelot. "This is absolutely the most hysterical show I've ever been involved in. I am highly impressed with the talent in this cast" said Holly Legg, who plays the Lady of the Lake.

"The camaraderie among the cast in rehearsals is wonderful, especially all of the jokes. Everyone loves coming to rehearsals and they've been such a pick-me-up" said Stiles.

The Spamalot cast also features Jeff Wine as Sir Robin, Bret Miller as Patsy, Charlie Perkins as Sir Bedevere, Chaste Martin, Amanda Willis, Elizabeth Conley and Johnna Leary as female ensemble members and James Wright, Skyler O'Neill, Sam Knupp and Eric Nauman Jr. as male ensemble members.

Spamalot will run May 2, 3, 9 and 10 at 8:00 PM and May 4 and 11 at 2:30 PM. Tickets are $15 for Friday and Saturday evening shows and $12 for Sunday matinees. Student tickets are $7 for all performances. The Apollo Civic Theater is located at 128 East Martin Street, Martinsburg, WV, 25402. For more information about Spamalot and upcoming performances, please visit

Photo Credit: Apollo Civic Theater

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Johnna Leary Johnna Leary is a vocal performance musical theatre major at Shepherd University. She is the Arts and Styles Section Editor of the Shepherd University newspaper, The Picket. She previously wrote for The Brooke Scene as a student news correspondent and interned at the Contemporary American Theater Festival. Johnna frequently performs in educational and local theater productions. Her favorite roles include Johanna (u/s) and Young Lucy in Sweeney Todd at Shepherd, Isabel in Scrooge! The Musical and Mallory/Avril in City of Angels at the Old Opera House, Amy March in Little Women at the Apollo Civic Theater and Olive Ostrovsky in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and Lily St. Regis in Annie at the Washington County Playhouse. Johnna is also active in many performing organizations, serving as secretary for Scene Stealers, the student-run musical theatre performance group and a member of the Vocal Jazz Octet, Women's Camerata, Masterworks Chorale and Sigma Alpha Iota at Shepherd University.

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