Arts musical review

They did succeed on Broadway (and in La Sala)

The Musical Theatre Guild gives an A1 performance of Monty Python’s Spamalot

Monty Python’s Spamalot
Book and Lyrics by Eric Idle
Music by John du Prez and Eric Idle
Directed by David Favela ’18
La Sala de Puerto Rico
Nov. 10 – 12, 16 – 18

Monty Python’s Spamalot follows the adventures of King Arthur and his faithful sidekick, Patsy, as they embark on a journey across England to enlist knights and find the famed Holy Grail. The show is a comedy of miscommunication from the very start, opening on an ensemble number set ostensibly in Finland, to the English narrator’s surprise. Once the miscommunication is set to rights, the ensemble grumbles offstage, making way for King Arthur (Paul Gallagher G), who gallops majestically on with the clip-clopping of coconut shells in lieu of a horse. This trend of self-awareness continues throughout the show. It nimbly plays with both gags from the original Monty Python movie and Broadway stereotypes, even including some songs featuring both.

The entire cast is excellent and has great vocal balance as well as clean choreography (with just the right number of kick lines). Every audience member can tell that the ensemble is having as much fun as the spectators. Lizzie Mears shines as Sir Robin, leading (and sometimes running away from) King Arthur’s men through the maze that is the production of a Broadway musical. Alejandro Vientós (’17) plays an excellent Sir Galahad, educating King Arthur on the finer points of the anarcho-syndicalist commune and effecting a miraculous transformation from his humble origins to a knight worthy of the King. And, proving that supporting roles are just as important as leads is Patsy (Kali Rosendo, G), cheering King Arthur up, shouldering the better portion of his heavy load, and even occasionally saving him from certain failure.

And of course, no show can be complete without the work done behind the scenes: the hours put into constructing the set, completing costumes, hanging lights, and designing the sound system all paid off.The show has a wonderful visual and aural aesthetic that draws the audience into the world of the action. In particular, the sound served as a valuable bridge during set changes and backstage costume changes, keeping the audience engaged even though nothing was happening visually.     

All told, the show was a great experience, containing gags for newcomers to the unique brand of humor that is Monty Python, and new jokes for those already familiar with the story. I highly recommend seeing this show. It’ll have you looking “on the bright side of life.”