Huron Country’s Spamalot provides lots of laughs
- Written by Richard Young
Huron Country Playhouse
June 26 to July 13
If you are seeking an evening of belly-laughs, then Drayton Entertainment’s frenetic production of Monty Python’s Spamalot, now playing at the Huron Country Playhouse until July 13, is just what the doctor ordered.
Based loosely on the legend of King Arthur, Camelot, the Knights of the Round Table and the quest for the Holy Grail, Spamalot is a musical comedy "lovingly ripped off from" the 1975 film Monty Python and the Holy Grail. The original 2005 Broadway production won three Tony Awards, including Best Musical of the 2004–2005 season. Productions of the play have been mounted around the world, most recently in this area by London’s Original Kids Theatre Company earlier this spring.
Drayton’s cast led by “straight-man” Victor A. Young in the role of the guileless King Arthur, is simply terrific, as are the period costumes, set, music and choreography.
Shout-outs to Nick Settimi who plays Patsy, Arthur’s long-suffering sidekick and SFX man par excellence. Trust me, close your eyes and you’ll swear there are live horses on the stage! And to Kristen Peace who plays the sultry diva-like The Lady of the Lake. Peace’s rendition of The Diva’s Lament (Whatever Happened To My Part) and her duets with Arthur and Sir Galahad in The Song That Goes Like This are show-stoppers.
Honourable mention to four London actors, as well – Thomas Alderson as Prince Herbert, Eddie Glen as Sir Robin, Mark Uhre as Sir Lancelot and Aidan DeSalaiz as Sir Bedevere. All four play several other characters, including some in drag.
Nothing is sacred to Monty Python and Spamalot certainly has its share of double entendre, exchanges of inane dialogue, fart jokes and so on. And, as was promised in the opening night introductions, director Alex Mustakas has “Canadianized” the production with some well-placed references to Justin Beiber, Justin Trudeau, and Mike Duffy.
Fans of lively song and dance numbers will not be disappointed with this upbeat production. Kudos to choreographer Lisa Stevens.
Favourite scenes this night included the exchange of taunts between Arthur’s knights and some flatulent French soldiers towards the end of Act I and Patsy’s (Settimi) performance of Always Look On The Bright Side of Life in Act II (or is that Act III?).
The cast and crew received a well-deserved standing ovation from the opening night audience – something this reviewer is sure will be repeated nightly for the remainder of Spamalot’s run.
For tickets, visit https://www.draytonentertainment.com
(Out of 4 Stars)
[Photos: Darlene O'Rourke]
Richard Young is the publisher/managing editor of The Beat Magazine.