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Spamalot: The area premiere gets the first and the last laugh in Havre de Grace

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SPAMALOT

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Once in a while you see a performance that speaks to you, moves you, changes you. Such a performance takes you to a different place and the world looks more vivid to you after the show concludes. You will always remember this show, this moment, as the one of the best of your life. Spamalot is not that kind of show.

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What Spamalot is, as performed by Tidewater Players of Havre de Grace, is a rollicking good time. Based on the movie Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Spamalot fleshes out the legend of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table with comedy and song. In the process questions that you probably never thought to ask - are answered. For instance, why would an all-knowing God commission a quest for a Holy Grail? He lost His cup? This and other weighty issues are tackled by a serious and forthright King Arthur, played by Todd Starkey. Arthur encounters many challenges including anarchist propaganda-spewing countrymen, verbally abusive French palace guards, and magical ten-foot-tall forest knights who demand a nice shrubbery as a toll for passage. Really.

Arthur receives assistance from the Lady of the Lake, ably sung and wonderfully overacted by Eileen Keenan Aubele. The Lady provides evidence of Arthur's legitimacy as King, helps recruit the Round Table Knights, and after a long absence performs a song calling attention to her character's long absence. It's that kind of show.

Other great performances abound. Each cast member plays multiple characters, often in the space of a few minutes. Of particular note is Dickie Mahoney, who transforms from whiny anarchist to golden voiced knight with flowing blond hair. Also Robert Tucker revives from being nearly dead to nearly married, and thank goodness he won't stop singing. Finally, Steve Flickinger's many characters are so unpredictable they seem to be making the whole thing up as they go. Perhaps they are.

Spamalot performances continue May 2 thru May 18. Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., Sundays at 3 p.m.

Tidewater Players of Havre de Grace

121 N Union Ave, Havre de Grace, Maryland 21078

Tickets (410) 939-8433 or online at Seat Yourself. All seats $18.50

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