Vol. 17, No. 21 – July 10 – July 23, 2024 – A View from House Seats

“Spamalot” Brings Laughs Galore

by Shirley Lorraine

Are you a Monty Python fan? If so, the Ojai Art Center Theater’s summer musical, “Spamalot,” promises to hit your funny bone (wink, wink, nudge, nudge). Adapted from the Monty Python film “Monty Python and the Holy Grail,” “Spamalot,” penned by Python member Eric Idle, brings their trademark silliness and audacity to the stage, encouraging each actor to go big.

Not familiar with Monty Python? No worries. Embrace the deliberately absurd and highly choreographed chaos. Be forewarned, in true Python style, many lines are shouted, potentially hindering comprehension of the British vernacular. However, the words matter less than the vibrant characterizations and overall action. Expect minimal plot and maximum laughter.

The expansive cast invites audiences into their Camelot and its environs, where King Arthur and his band embark on the quest for the Holy Grail. Every facet of the classic tale is parodied, complete with twisted lyrics, chanting monks, and dancing girls to amplify the spectacle.

Marcus Kettles commands as King Arthur, fully embodying royalty. Marisa Miculian shines as the Lady of the Lake, showcasing her vocal prowess amidst a backdrop of “Laker girls” clad in whimsical costumes inspired by “a herd of Peruvian Llamas,” as noted in the program. Throughout the play, these cheerleaders punctuate the action. The costumes across the production are meticulously chosen.

Emma-Rose Allen delights as Sir Robin the Brave, her stage presence a breath of fresh air. James Baker revels in his portrayal of Sir Lancelot, while R. Shane Bourbon brings humor to the roles of Sir Galahad and others. Multiple actors skillfully juggle various characters, surprising the audience at every turn.

Stage squires play a crucial role, facilitating seamless set changes and adding to the abundant humor.

Director Andrew Eiden pulls out all the stops in this rollicking free-for-all.

Please note, the Ojai summer production starts earlier: Friday and Saturday curtains rise at 7:30 p.m., with Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. With plenty happening in Ojai and nearby Libby Park, summer parking can be a challenge, so be prepared for a short walk. Once inside the air-conditioned theater, however, you’ll find a welcome respite from the Ojai heat. Don’t miss the chance to let the cast entertain you.

For tickets, visit www.ojaiacr.org or call 805-640-8797.

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