Don't worry, this is not a statement extracted from an internal memo of an email marketing company.
It is a summary of my review after watching the theatrical performance of Spamalot, a stage play produced by Upstart Productions and performed at BGC Arts Center last Saturday. Upstart Productions is a local theatrical show production company that has very good reputation. I have always enjoyed their shows.
When I got the tickets to the show, I wondered if I had made a mistake. While I am familiar with British humor, I was not sure if my 10-year old could get the jokes. Would she need to have knowledge of British history to enjoy a show the title of which is a word play on a place in British history called Camelot? In fact, come to think of it, I don't think I know much about Camelot except that it was a name of a place in British history in medieval times. There was a legend about how a boy became king with the help of magical power.
And what the heck is Monty Python? The show is called Monty Python's Spamalot. I vaguely remembered that it was a term associated with a group of British comedians in 1970s, the most famous of whom was a guy named John Cleese. He is the British version of John Lithgow (a US actor that has starred in many movies as well as a successful comedy series called 3rd Rock from the Sun).
After the show, I was glad that I brought along my 10-year old. She was glued to the show the whole time, and talked about dressing up as King Arthur at Halloween, her most favorite annual event.
It was an outrageous comedy.
Audience eagerly lines up to get into the theater.
The show started with a scene set in a mental hospital. One of the patients became the lead character of the play, King Arthur, in the next scene. So everything in the play was supposed to be a dream in the head of a mental patient. Craziness was therefore expected.
The story line is not very important, because it only serves as a vehicle for a lot of silliness. Everything just happens.
Briefly, the story was this: King Arthur, a king of England in medieval time, needed to recruit some knights to join him in a quest to find the holy grail. A lot of the jokes were about how King Arthur and his knights interacted with strangers and among themselves.
Photo above: Some of the cast of Spamalot and a fan.
A bunch of silly men running around could become bland after a while even though they were hilarious. Luckily, in the British legend about King Arthur, there was a beautiful sorceress called Lady of the Lake. This provided an opportunity to add some glamour to the play. The Lady of the Lake, played by actress Rachel Alejandro in the show that we watched, was not only very pretty, but most of all, could sing silly songs and act silly very well.
While Spamalot is a British play that was written probably many years ago, the audience could still connect with it. One is because many of the jokes were about the misunderstanding of simple instructions by idiots. Second, some of the songs sang in the show that we watched, especially one that was sung by the Lady of the Lake, had been updated to incorporate bits of pop songs in it. The young audience cracked up when they watched these songs being sung and dance in a comical way.
T-shirt bought at the merchandise booth of the show shows the most evil villain in the plot, a murderous bunny.
Although one may miss one or two jokes that required a knowledge of British slangs in the 70s (such as the one about 'fairy', which means feminine man), or a few rude words that are probably not used any more, everyone will find this production of Spamalot a well performed comedy that delivers. The acting and directing were superb, the venue of BGC Arts Center was great, and the dresses worn by the Lady of the Lake were enchanting.
Spamalot is directed by Joel Trinidad and Nicky Triviño of Upstart Productions. It is showing at BGC Arts Center until April 22, 2018. Get your tickets now if you want to have a tummy splitting experience this weekend!
My kid is begging me to bring her back to watch again with a friend. I may just let her do that if she promises to study hard, and continue to make jokes in a British accent.
(Btw, don't think too hard on why the show is called Spamalot, because that's not the way Monty Python people work. It was chosen probably only because it rhymes with Camalot).