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'Spamalot' serves up heaping helping of Monty Pythonesque madness

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"Spamalot" at Jewish Community Center

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It’s irreverent. It’s insane. It’s funny. It’s a big Broadway show. It’s “Spamalot” right here in Kansas City at The White Theatre in the Jewish Community Center running July 12 through July 27.

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Spamalot” created a fury on Broadway and on the road, Now, the highly popular piece comes to local community theaters, and demand could not be stronger. It’s highly anticipated by Monty Python addicts. It’s timeless. It’s classic. It’s farce. It pokes fun at all previous Broadway shows. It entertains. It follows the story line of Monty Python and the Holy Grail. And, most of all, it entertains the audience.

Fans of the movie need not worry that anything is missing. It’s the whole enchilada on display here. Remember the coconuts? They are here. Yes, they are, and in the hands of Josh Brady. He plays Patsy, King Arthur’s hunchbacked assistant who follows the King on his quest to assemble knights for his round table. But, Arthur could never be so grand and bold without the coconut serenade keeping him on pace with his canter about Camelot.

Local director, Steven Eubank, known mostly for directing campy productions for Egads! Theatre Company, could not be better suited for this farcical tale of medieval madness. “Spamalot” falls directly in his strike zone, and his concept of the production shows at every juncture. He has assembled a great creative team to assist with the production from lighting, to sound, to costumes, to sets, and more. Eubank set a new standard with his direction of “Spamalot.”

King Arthur, Galahad, Lancelot, Guinevere, some insane knights, a black knight, a ferocious killer rabbit, French knights (fending off Arthur and his men by insulting them and then farting toward them), can-can dancers, Finlandish folk celebrations-- they all take center stage at the Jewish Community Center.

Monty Python’s “Spamalot” created quite a stir on Broadway when it brought its irreverent take of the Arthurian Legend to the stage. Both American and British audiences welcomed the show with open arms, boatloads of cash, long lines, and long waits to secure tickets as it developed into one of the major musicals of the past decade. In a way, it broke the mold for musicals in that it made fun of many styles of shows currently on the boards.

Monty Python’s “Spamalot” is farce carried out to extreme–extreme hilarity and high-jinx. Fans of the movie may have wondered how that movie would morph to a musical, and despite their qualms, they had nothing to fear. Monty Python’s “Spamalot” brought it’s following to the theater, delighted them, and then claimed more fans from old and new, young and old.

Lyndsey Agron is the Lady of the Lake–mostly. Fans see her in Act I as King Arthur’s guardian angel who delivers Excalibur into his hands and proclaims him King of Briton. Slowly, she disappears from the show only to reappear in Act II as a true diva demanding to know what happened to her part. Then, the Lady of the Lake gets rewritten back into the show and all is well.

As King Arthur, Reed Uthe is funny at times, the straight man at times, a dancer at times, and so many other aspects in the show. Monty Python’s “Spamalot” tells the legend of his quest to find the Holy Grail--no not Braille--the Grail. Uthe is funny throughout the show and provides just the right balance between madness and insanity to make the show successful. Forget normalcy. In Monty Python’s “Spamalot,” normalcy left the building before the Overture.

Galahad’s and Lancelot’s adventures, or misadventures, continue to keep audiences laughing. Though lost in their chainmail clad characters, actors Robert Hingula and Adam Branson shine and sparkle as members of the round table. Well, Branson “sparkles” more that the other knights. And then, there is Sir Robin, aptly sung and played by Joel Morrison. The three knights bring a lot of laughs to the show and fill in any gaps.

Overall, a brilliant cast, beautiful direction, great casting, bizarre costumes, creative choreography, insane song lyrics, and irreverence combine in a festoon of funny. Tornadoes sweep through Kansas City all the time, but leave paths of destruction. Monty Python’s “Spamalot” blows into town leaving behind fun filled memories, happy fans, and a journey into the insane for a couple of hours.

The cast includes: Reed Uthe as King Arthur, Joel Morrison as Sir Robin, Adam Branson as Sir Lancelot, Josh Brady as Patsy, Robert Hingula as Sir Galahad, Cory Dowman as Sir Bedevere, Lyndsey Agron as Lady of the Lake, Jayson Chandley as Historian/Fred/Minstrel, Herbert/Others; Ensemble: John Edmonds, Guy Gardner, Max Mammele, Ethan Platt, Samantha Agron, Jessica Alcorn, Meagan Edmonds, Cassaundra Sutherland.

The crrative team includes: Steven Eubank, director; Pam Willaimson, music director/conductor; Tiffany Powell, choreographer; Terry More, stage manager; Alexa Cioffi, assistant stage manager; Heide Harrelson-Williams, production assistant; Julia Ras, costume design; Jayson Chandley, lighting design; Connor Lumpkin, assistant lighting design; Shane Rowse, set design; Bill Christie, property design; Jeff Eubank, sound design; Rachel Panjada, sound mixing; Jacob Katz, Josh Kruger, and Justin Pfau, follow spots.

Monty Python’s “Spamalot” ends the JCC season with fun, frivolity, and fervor. For an enjoyable escape for any sense of reality, the show is not to be missed.

Tickets are available at the box office by phone 913-327-8054, or online at their website: www.jcckc.org Plan and reserve seats quickly. The show will sell out fast.

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