SPA­MALOT IN­SPIRES YOU TO AL­WAYS LOOK ON THE BRIGHT SIDE OF LIFE

Business World - - ARTS & LEISURE - By Michelle Anne P. Soli­man

KING ARTHUR, the knights, and the Lady of the Lake have re­turned to en­ter­tain Filipino au­di­ences thanks to a lim­ited re­run of

Monty Python’s Spa­malot at the May­bank Per­form­ing Arts The­ater in BGC, Taguig.

Hav­ing failed to see the mu­si­cal last year dur­ing its first stag­ing in Manila is not a prob­lem as codi­rec­tor Joel Trinidad told Busi­nessWorld at the me­dia pre­view that it is “es­sen­tially the same show.”

Based on the 1975 film Monty Python and the Holy Grail, the Tony/ Grammy/ Drama Desk award-win­ning mu­si­cal par­ody is set in me­dieval Eng­land and fol­lows Arthur, who was given the ti­tle of “King” by the Lady of the Lake. He con­tin­ues to travel dis­tances (with his com­pan­ion Patsy tap­ping on co­conut shells to mimic the sound of horse hooves) in search of no­ble men who would be in­ter­ested to be­come mem­bers of the Knights of the Round Ta­ble and join him in Camelot.

When in­structed by God to search for the Holy Grail, King Arthur and his knights travel around the world and suf­fer de­feat by lewd French sol­diers. They wan­der around “a dark and very ex­pen­sive for­est” where the Knights who say “Ni” de­mand that they bring them shrub­bery, only to change their minds and chal­lenge King Arthur and com­pany to stage a mu­si­cal.

Just as in the orig­i­nal ab­surd movie, the the­ater ac­tors in­deed present ev­ery ab­sur­dity and silli­ness nat­u­rally as if it were right (and it was). Lorenz Martinez and Carla Gue­varaLaforteza keep it grace­ful and nat­u­ral with “The Song that Goes Like This” as the song poked fun at the in­evitable heart­warm­ing bal­lads sung in mu­si­cals. One of the knights told the au­di­ence out­right that the show that evening is a pre­view. The cast mem­bers even took a selfie with an au­di­ence mem­ber.

The im­pro­vised songs filled with pop cul­ture- ref­er­enc­ing to Justin Bieber’s lyrics, twerk­ing like Mi­ley Cyrus, and the Lady of the Lake’s per­for­mance spoofs of the likes of Ce­line Dion, Diana Ross, and Cher drew laugh­ter and cheers from the au­di­ence.

The two-hour laugh-out-loud mu­si­cal par­ody had this writer leave the the­ater humming to “Al­ways Look on the Bright Side of Life” and not wor­ried about what was up the next day.

Co-di­rected by Joel Trinidad and Nicky Triv­iño, Monty Python’s Spa­malot runs un­til April 22 at the Globe Au­di­to­rium, May­bank Per­form­ing Arts The­ater, BGC Arts Cen­ter, Taguig City. Shows are on Fri­days ( 9 p. m.), Satur­days (3 and 8 p.m.), Sun­days (3 and 8 p.m.). Tick­ets are avail­able at Tick­etWorld ( 891- 9999, www.tick­etworld.com.ph) and Up­start (0917-811-6156).

KING ARTHUR (Lorenz Martinez, L) and his knights go on ab­surd ad­ven­tures in Monty Python’s Spa­malot.

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