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Spamalot

No sooner had Boulder's Dinner Theatre opened Spamalot than the remaining five of six original culprits of Monty Python's Flying Circus announced they would be getting together for another show, the first in over 40 years, next July in London. Obviously, the comedy troupe's irreverent brand continues to strike a cord with audiences on both sides of the Atlantic, and we can see why in BDT's current frolic.

The Lady of the Lake, with the Holy Grail, and the knights of the round table

Top: The Lady of the Lake (Alicia Dunfee)
holding the the Holy Grail,
and (front & center) Arthur (Wayne Kennedy),
with the Knights of the Round Table
Photo: Glenn Ross Photography
The musical takes a hefty share of its content from the movie Monty Python and the Holy Grail, with a number of differences, but the through line is still Arthurian legend, including the quest for the Holy Grail and the story of Camelot and the knights of the round table. So, it is Arthur who meanders through the farce, as the troupe digresses, tangentializes, and makes fun of whatever subject strikes its fancy.

(Left to right) Barret Harper as Minstrel and Bob Hoppe as Sir Robin
(L to R) Brett Ambler as Minstrel
and Bob Hoppe as Sir Robin
Photo: Glenn Ross Photography
With over-the-top production numbers and a steady stream of zingers, the original 2005 Broadway production, directed by Mike Nichols, won three Tony Awards, including the Tony Award for Best Musical, out of 14 nominations. BDT's director/choreographer, Piper Lindsay Arpan, in consideration of the ensemble, skews the ages of Arthur (Wayne Kennedy) and the Lady of the Lake/Guenevere (Alicia Dunfee) toward middle age, which generally works, except for an unfortunate costume choice involving a silver lamé jump suit.

(Left to right) The Knights of Ni meet King Arthur (Wayne Kennedy) and Patsy (Scott Beyette)
(L to R) The Knights of Ni (leader Brian Jackson)
meet King Arthur (Wayne Kennedy)
and Patsy (Scott Beyette)
Photo: Glenn Ross Photography
Other than that painful moment, compensated by the Laker Girls burlesque numbers, things progress swimmingly: from the opening fanfares (I counted 8!), through the bubonic plague and medieval zombies, anti-royalists, gay knights, Trojan rabbit, Can-Can, comic dismemberment, Jewish number, Liberace, romantic moment, killer rabbit, and Holy Grail (which was hiding right here in Boulder!), all the way to the finale.

The cast, pros all, sing and dance up a storm, dishing out one-liners with aplomb. Neil Dunfee and the 10-piece house band rock!

Boulder's Dinner Theatre's presentation of Spamalot runs through March 1, 2014. For more information: 303-449-6000 or www.bouldersdinnertheatre.com.

Bob Bows

 

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