Monty Python’s Spamalot at The National TheatreBy Xandra Weaver • Apr 12th, 2013 • Category: Reviews
Touring Production: (Web)
The National Theatre, Washington DC
Through April 14th
2:20 with one intermission
$55 – $125 (Plus Fees)
Reviewed April 10th, 2013
In a theater soaked in history of our relatively young “colonies,” Eric Idle’s insanity and genius come to tell us of the heroes of bygone days in England. The Knights of the Round Table, and their King, Arthur, have never been less dignified or more insane than onstage singing and dancing to songs about plague, torture, fish, and the Holy Grail of Christianity. The touring show Spamalot, based on the movie “Monty Python and the Holy Grail,” has just exploded in DC once again, at the National Theater.
The movie made little sense, and the play doesn’t even try to remedy that, instead opting for mile a minute jokes and silliness. The gags are outrageous, and the accents even crazier. It is a fantastically good time, and the cast seems to enjoy it almost as much as the audience. Arthur Rowan, who played King Arthur amusingly enough, was a strong center of certainty, playing the straight man to most of the show’s jokesters. Rowan makes Arthur look as misguided as possible, without letting the character think there is anything wrong. He is aided by a clever peasant/servant named Patsy, who not only helps him “ride” horses by clacking coconuts, but also helps the king round-up his band of Knights. Glenn Giron plays Patsy with a real warmth and keeps a level head in the show. Lancelot (Adam Grabau) and Sir Robin (Kasidy Devlin) were also devilishly entertaining, and kept the energy up.
Meanwhile, the Lady of the Lake is a diva without a cause. While the character is supposed to “overact like hell” according to the lyrics of her song, the pitchy understudy who played her on Wednesday seemed to lack the necessary glamour to pull the part off completely. While her high notes were strong and sure, the jazzier moments escaped her range somewhat.
Overall, the ensemble was really the star of the show. As the play is based on the schtick of Monty Python, each ensemble character got to shine in various iconic parts such as Tim the Enchanter, or the Knights who say Ni. Only Arthur, The Lady of the Lake and Patsy stayed in the same role, everyone else was heroically charging about and changing costumes in mere seconds.
The beautiful set and quick changes of the actors made for a rollicking good time. Together with a very appreciative audience, Spamalot brought the house down in a send up of history, culture and theater that was as timeless and irreverent as Monty Python could ever be.
Photos by Scot Suchman
- King Arthur: Arthur Rowan
- Lady of the Lake Understudy (performed on Wednesday): Melissa Chaty
- Lady of the Lake: Abigail Raye
- Patsy: Glenn Giron
- Sir Lancelot, The French Taunter, King Ni, Tim The Enchanter: Adam Grabau
- Sir Robin, Brother Maynard: Kasidy Devlin
- Mayor, Sir Bedevere, Mother, Black Knight, Father, U/S King Arthur: Thomas Demarcus
- Sir Dennis Galahad, Concorde, U/S Black Knight, U/S Father: Joshua Taylor Hamilton
- Historian, Not Dead Fred, French Guard, Minstrel, Prince Herbert, U/S Sir Lancelot: Joe Beuerlein
- Ensemble: Matthew Alexander
- Ensemble: Barbara Jo Bednarczuk
- Ensemble, Dance Captain: Kimber Benedict
- Ensemble, U/S Sir Robin, Not Dead Fred, Prince Herbert: Jason Elliott Brown
- Ensemble, U/S Sir Galahad, Patsy: Carl Deforrest Hendin
- Ensemble, U/S Historian, Minstrel, Sir Bedevere, Mother: Andrew Leggieri
- Ensemble: Amy Owens
- Ensemble: Ryan Jacob Wood
- Author, Voice of God : Eric Idle
- Re-Created Direction: BT McNicholl
- Choreographer: Casey Nicholaw
- Re-Created Choreography: Scott Taylor
- Scenic Design Modifications: James Kronzer
- Lighting Design: Mike Baldassari
- Sound Design: Craig Cassidy
- Musical Supervisor: Steven M. Bishop
- Executive Producer: Stephen B. Kane
- Artistic Producer: Michael McFadden
Disclaimer: ShowBizRadio was provided two complimentary media tickets for this review.
This article can be linked to as: http://washingtondc.showbizradio.com/goto/9347.
Xandra Weaver has a great love of the process of theater and the creation of art that has led her into working both behind the scenes and onstage. Her career includes working for many years providing sound and lights for both professional and amateur shows as well as makeup work for a feature film. At college, she specialized in makeup to earn her theater degree, and discovered a love for directing and playwrighting. She's also been a nominee for the DC area theater WATCH awards for her work with the company of The Producers with The Arlington Players.