‘Spa­malot’ a sat­is­fy­ingly fun romp

Tongue-in-cheek com­edy re­tains many of the movie’s scenes.

Palm Beach Daily News - - TODAY - By JAN SJOSTROM

If you like your com­edy ir­rev­er­ent and un­abashedly silly, Monty Python’s Spa­malot is the show for you. Of course, it helps if you’re a fan of Monty Python, the trail-blaz­ing, oh-so-Bri­tish com­edy troupe of the late 1960s and early 1970s tele­vi­sion se­ries and later movies.

MNM Pro­duc­tions’ joy­ous pro­duc­tion opened the com­pany’s sea­son Thurs­day at the Kravis Cen­ter’s Rinker Play­house.

The mu­si­cal, which fea­tures a book and lyrics by Python Eric Idle, as well as mu­sic by Idle and John Du Prez, is based on the 1975 movie Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

It re­tains most of the movie’s best scenes, as well as the labyrinthine and witty ver­bal gym­nas­tics for which the Pythons were fa­mous. De­vi­a­tions in­clude a Lady of the Lake and her Laker Girls, a mis­sion to mount a Broad­way mu­si­cal, a dif- fer­ent end­ing and spoofs of fa­mous mu­si­cals.

Zest­fully di­rected and chore­ographed by Kim­berly Dawn Smith, with a seven-piece band led by mu­si­cal di­rec­tor Paul Reekie, the pro­duc­tion largely over­comes its bud­get and space lim­i­ta­tions. It even fea­tures a few big-tap num­bers, such as the para­sol-twirling Al­ways Look on the Bright Side of Life.

John­barry Green’s King Arthur leads a band of ec­cen­tric knights who are just as clue­less as he is. The most watch­able is Sahid Pabon’s cow­ardly Sir Robin, who’s re­vealed as a closet mu­si­cal theater per­former when the mis­sion turns to Broad­way.

As the Lady of the Lake, Laura Ho­dos par­o­dies show­biz di­vas with over­the-top vo­cal fire­works. When her scant­ily clad Laker Girls bounce onto the stage, the show be­comes even more delectably ridicu­lous.

Most per­form­ers play mul­ti­ple roles, but none bet­ter than Michael Scott Ross, who’s laugh-out­loud funny as the His­to­rian, Not Dead Fred, a Taunter, a Min­strel and the ef­fem­i­nate Prince Her­bert. Pierre Tan­nous’ mul­ti­ple roles in­clude the out­ra­geous slat­tern Mrs. Gala­had.

Oc­ca­sion­ally, a prop or cos­tume will look cheesy, such as the anti-cli­mac­tic dis­mem­ber­ing of the Black Knight. The cas­tle-wall set, with its mul­ti­ple doors and sec­ond level, is sur­pris­ingly ver­sa­tile.

Now and then, a per­former will over­act. Joshua McKin­ney’s sneer­ing French taunter is amus­ing, un­til you re­al­ize most of his gibes are un­in­tel­li­gi­ble.

As the Lady of the Lake might say, MNM Pro­duc­tions has cap­tured its Holy Grail with this sat­is­fy­ingly tongue-incheek romp.

Photo by Ge­orge Went­zler

Monty Python’s “Spa­malot” fea­tures John­barry Greene, right, as King Arthur, and Mike Westrich as the Black Knight. The show will be at the Kravis Cen­ter through June 4.

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