For one week only, the musical comedy Spamalot comes to the Warner Theatre much to the delight of DC audiences. With a cult following from here to Peru, the Monty Python monicker brings with it its own high-set standard—for a musical “lovingly ripped off from the classic film comedy Monty Python and the Holy Grail,” there are high expectations.
What we are presented with is a farce of the Arthurian tale of the Knights of the Roundtable, but with a bit more singing, and less actual fighting… oh, and a lot of Spam (get it… Spam-a-lot). Creator and original troupe member Eric Idle has created a musical comedy that has earned him a number of TONY awards and accolades. Just as its namesake took audiences for a whirl with its comedy, this musical makes sure everyone is in on the joke from start to finish.
The musical numbers drift back and forth between traditional Broadway and self-referential humor; namely “The Song That Goes Like This” and “Diva’s Lament.” While there were a couple of flat characters in terms of comedic timing, cast standouts included familiar faces to the DC theatre scene, Arthur Rowan (King Arthur) and Adam Grabau (Sir Lancelot, French Taunter, King Ni), Brittany Woodrow (Lady of the Lake), Michael J Berry (Patsy), and James David Larson (Not Dead Fred, Prince Herbert). As a collective, King Arthur’s Knights with the ensemble are hilarious; the amount of silliness that permeates the stage is off the charts.
Woodrow quite literally steals the show with her performance, providing the right level of sass that makes her lovable. With King Arthur and his Knights directing the plot on their quest, beautiful women (and men) dancing in costumes, and an intermission, it becomes quite easy to forget our Lady of the Lake. However, she injects herself right back into our psyches with great comedic timing and a voice that runs… and runs… and runs.
Fans of the film will be overjoyed to see favorites like the French Taunter and King Ni; both of whom happen to be played by Grabau. He maintains such great ease with his humor, and seems to fully commit—who could resist laughing out loud to his directed farts, and obscene gestures. His scenes with Larson’s Prince Herbert highlight both actors’ talents wonderfully. Larson’s enthusiasm in character both as the Prince and Not Dead Fred made for the more lively musical numbers.
For more information on tickets as well as other dates, check out the show page.