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Moonlight’s “Spamalot” always looking on the ‘bright side’

Scenes from Monty Python's "Spamalot" at Moonlight Amphitheatre in Vista with Christine Hewitt as Lady Of The Lake.
Scenes from Monty Python's "Spamalot" at Moonlight Amphitheatre in Vista with Christine Hewitt as Lady Of The Lake.
Ken Jacques

Monty Python's Spamalot


Vista, CA---Keeping their eye on ‘the bright side’’, Moonlight Stage Productions, for short Moonlight Theatre, is kicking off its summer season with the goofy takeoff of the movie “Monty Python’s Spamalot” which is a takeoff on King Arthur and the Holy Grail. Call it irreverent; that’s what it is.

Larry Raben and Company from Moonlight's "Spamalot"
Ken Jacques

With a cast that’s so loaded with talent and know how, all King Arthur (Sean Murray) has to do is gallop around and look pretty. Well, he does have to find some Knights for his Roundtable; the Holy Grail for God; a small shrub in a ‘very dark expensive forest for the Ni forest people; convince the French that he has a killer rabbit sitting outside their castle walls; duel with the Black Night whose limbs he manages to clip off; enjoy a stint in Camelot a la Las Vegas and…he gets to kiss Guinevere who was once The Lady Of The Lake”.

Adding to that overall shtick, there’s a bit thrown in from “Fiddler On The Roof” (bottle dance with holy grails instead of bottles), “The Producers”, a backdrop of the Excalibur Resort and Casino in Las Vegas with a bevvy of hoofers that look like they came straight from a one of the Follies Shows but in fact are supposed to be The Lakers cheerleading team. In addition to all this mess there were those dressed as if they are from Norway and Ireland and you name it.

For some reason, as an equal opportunity offender, there is a big production number “You Won’t Succeed On Broadway” (if you don’t have any Jews.) OY!

Others that tickle the funny bone are: “Fisch Schlapping Song, “I’m Not Dead Yet”, “Find Your Grail”, “Divas Lament” or “Whatever Happened to My Part”, “Knights Of The Roundtable”, and of course “Always Look On The Bright Side of Life”. Music from the pit under the direction of Lyndon Peguda, keeps everyone on track while bringing forth a vibrant sound under his baton.

If it all sounds too overwhelming and you’ve never seen the movie or a stage production, Moonlight’s production will clear your head of any doubt, but will fill it with more nonsense than you bargained for. It plays Wed. through Sundays until June 28th.

Director and choreographer, Brad Bradley, one of our homegrown ‘made it big on Broadway young talent and veteran ‘Spamalot’ regular was able to share (conceive and recreate) his expertise as the insider. Helping the causes all around are the Broadway glitter, glow and eye-popping sets and costumes. Another of our proud home grown, Casey Nicholaw choreographed the original Broadway production. The dancing is amazing; the whole production looks and feels very BIG TIME.

When “Spamalot” came on the Broadway scene in 2005 it carried away three Tony Awards including Best Musical of the 2004-2005 season. Eric Idle is responsible for the book and music is by John Du Prez and Eric Idle. Even if you are not a follower of Monty Python, but know anything of King Arthur and the Holy Grail you will definitely find that everything resembling the original myth is simply not coincidental.

Sean Murray artistic director/ founder Cygnet Theatre and actor stepped into the role of Arthur as if it were made for him. His Arthur is everywhere with his hapless valet Patsy (Jamie Torcellini is terrific) not far behind. Patsy can be seen and heard carrying Arthur’s ‘stuff’ while clopping his two half coconut shells together simulating his horse. Murray still has the chops to knock one out of the castle gates in “I’m All Alone”.

Christine Hewitt’s (Lady of the Lake) credits include stints across the country in a variety of roles plus “Sunset Boulevard’s 1st National Tour. She too has an amazing range and a wonderful sense of timing and she looks gorgeous in every costume she had on her back.

Andy Collins is Dennis’ mother, Sir Bedevere and Concord, Larry Raben is Sir Robin, Danny Gurwin is a hoot as Sir Dennis Galahad, and Michael Cusimano is perfect as the conceited Lancelot. Bryan Banville is the Historian. They are but a few of the strong support team that gives this “Spamalot” a perfect start for Moonlight’s 34th season opener.

Yup! Keep looking on that bright side of life and enjoy.

See you at the theatre.

Dates: Through June 28th

Organization: Moonlight Stage Productions

Phone: 760-724-2100

Production Type: Musical

Where: Brengle Terrace Park, 1200 Vale Terrace Drive, Vista

Ticket Prices: $15.00-$52.00


Venue: Moonlight Amphitheatre

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