Did someone say Spam?

-Submitted photo
The Lady of the Lake, Alyssa Sparks, is pictured with the Laker Girls, Amy Porter, Alaina Porter, Olivia Ferris, Patty Hayes, Katie Parsons, Kim Mason, Abby Adams and Jolene Messerly.

The Comedia Musica Players have selected a comedic, high-energy show for its 51st annual production. Casting has been announced and rehearsals are underway for the Fort Dodge production of “Monty Python’s Spamalot.” Lovingly ripped off from the classic film comedy Monty Python and the Holy Grail, “Spamalot” retells the legend of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table, and features a bevy of beautiful showgirls, not to mention cows, killer rabbits and French people.

The 2005 Broadway production won three Tony Awards, including Best Musical, and was followed by two successful West End runs. Book and lyrics are by Eric Idle and music is by John Du Prez and Eric Idle.

King Arthur (Buzz Powers) travels the land with his servant Patsy (Anna Cummings), trying to recruit Knights of the Round Table to join him in Camelot and his quest for the Holy Grail.

Sir Robin (Collin Ellsbury) and Sir Lancelot (Nathan Schelle) meet as they attempt to dispose of the sickly Not Dead Fred (Dart Dohrn). They agree to become Knights of the Round Table together.

Meanwhile, Arthur attempts to convince a peasant named Dennis Galahad (Jeff Bluml) that he (Arthur) is king of England because the Lady of the Lake (Alyssa Sparks) gave him Excalibur, the sword given only to the man fit to rule England. To settle the issue, Arthur has the Lady of the Lake and her Laker Girls (Amy Porter, Alaina Porter, Olivia Ferris, Patty Hayes, Katie Parsons, Kim Mason, Abby Adams & Jolene Messerly, pictured here) appear to turn Dennis into a knight. Together with Sir Bedevere (Roger Netz), they make up the Knights of the Round Table.

-Submitted photo
Knights figure largely in the cast of “Monty Python’s Spamalot,” as seen here by the noble lot included in Comedia Musica Players’ cast.

The five knights gather in Camelot, a deliberately anachronistic place resembling Las Vegas’ Camelot-inspired Excalibur resort, complete with showgirls. In the midst of their revelry, they are contacted by God who tells them to locate the Holy Grail. Urged on by the Lady of the Lake, the Knights set off and are met with hysterical adventures including a vicious taunting by lewd French soldiers at a castle, a dark forest, and encounters with the Black Knight and the Knights who say Ni.

Whatever happened to the Lady of the Lake?

Will Arthur and his knights ever find the grail?

What are their fates?

Only those who see the show will know.

You’ll meet several other characters in the show, including Dennis Galahad’s mother (Esther Laupp), Prince Herbert (Nathan Hayes) and his father (Brian Bidleman), and the Mayor/Tim the Enchanter (Larry Hall).

And then there are the showtunes: “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life,” “The Fisch Schlapping Song,” “The Song That Goes Like This,” and “Find Your Grail.”

The show director id Michael Shoopman, music director is Dan Cassady, rehearsal accompanist is Shelly Bottorff and choreographer is Emily Eastwood.

“Spamalot is pure Python — with all of the mind-binding humor one would expect,” Shoopman said. “Those who know me would recognize this is right down my alley, so having the opportunity to direct this show written by Monty Python creative genius Eric Idle is something I could never pass up. Audiences can look forward to a blend of music and laughs that only Monty Python can deliver and only Comedia can bring you in full comedy splendor this November.”

Cassady has been a Monty Python fan since the 1970s and this show brings back a lot of memories for him. “This is not your standard musical,” he said. “It is full of catchy tunes, funny lyrics, different styles, fast transitions and everything else. It includes some of the most clever and creative writing I have ever heard. Expect the unexpected. The untraditional nature of the musical score provides some unique challenges that the cast and chorus are handling quite well.”

“Monty Python’s Spamalot” will be performed at Decker Auditorium on the Iowa Central Community College campus Thursday through Saturday at 7 p.m. nightly, plus a 2 p.m. Saturday matinee. Advance seating tickets are on sale at Choice Printing in Fort Dodge and will also be available through the Comedia Musica Players website. Admission is $15 for adults, $8 for children and student tickets.

The Comedia Musica Players was founded in 1968 by Larry Mitchell and Scott Griffith. This will be its 51st annual musical theatre production. Email info@comediamusica.com or visit www.comediamusica.com for more information. Also follow Comedia on Facebook at www.facebook.com/comediamusicaplayers and on Instagram and Twitter @comedia–musica.

“Monty Python’s Spamalot” is presented through special arrangement with and all authorized performance materials are supplied by Theatrical Rights Worldwide, 1180 Avenue of the Americas, Suite 640, New York, NY 10036 Phone: 866-378-9758 www.theatricalrights.com.

COMMENTS