By Dee Jae Cox
In March 2005, Spamalot, with book and music by Eric Idle, music by Eric Idle and John Du Prez, opened on Broadway to great acclaim! Running through January 2009, with 1,575 performances, it was nominated for 11 Tony Awards, winning 3, (Best Musical, Best Actress (Sara Ramirez,) and Best Director, (Mike Nichols.). It has toured the U.S. and the U.K. and now, this phenomenal hit is on stage at the Palm Canyon Theatre in Palm Springs.
Directed by Dane Whitlock and Choreographed by Se Layne. Spamalot is lovingly ripped off” from the 1975 film “Monty Python and the Holy Grail.” It tells a highly irreverent parody of the Arthurian legend. The kingdom is in anarchy and the Christian Deity has asked Arthur to find a Holy Grail. Arthur sets out on this mission, traveling around England recruiting his Knights of the Round Table, while singing and making merry along the way. The show features dancing girls, flatulent Frenchmen, and a killer rabbit. Throughout the show, Arthur, while traveling with his servant Patsy, recruits several knights to accompany him on his quest to protect Camelot. On their journey, this colorful cast of characters also encounter the Lady of the Lake, Prince Herbert, Tim the Enchanter, Not Dead Fred, the Black Knight, and the Knights who say Ni.
Monty Python was a British surreal comedy troupe who created the sketch comedy television show, Monty Python’s Flying Circus in 1969. The TV program inspired touring stage shows, films, albums, books and musicals. Spamalot’s Playwright, Eric Idle, was one of the founding members of the Monty Python troupe. The members were both writers and performers of this unique style of sketch comedy. Idle, indicated that the title for his musical was derived from the movie in which one of the characters says “I eat ham and jam and Spam a lot.” Truly indicative of this group’s humor.
Palm Canyon Theatre’s production has an all-star cast. Paul Grant as King Arthur, Jaci Davis as Lady of the Lake, Dr. Eric Stein-Steele as Sir Lancelot/French Taunter/Knight of the Ni/Tim the Enchanter, Mark Ziemann as Patsy, David Brooks as the Historian/Herbert’s Father/God, Cameron Keys as Not Dead Fred/Prince Herbert, Ben Reece as Sir Galahad/Black Knight, Alan Berry as Sir Bedevere, Nick Edwards as Sir Robin and a top tier ensemble which includes Morgana Corelli, Sara Davis, Danny Hargreaves, Se Layne, Isa Morrison and Denise Rooney.
The Orchestra features the talents of Tim Bruneau, Piano and Musical Director, David Bronson, Drums and Larry Holloway, Bass. Scenic Design by Dr. William Layne, Sound – Nick Campbell. Costume Design – Derik Shopinski.
The Sunday, May 1st production will feature American Sign Language Interpreters, Liisa Mendoza and Christian Redondo.
Monty Python’s SPAMALOT runs through May 1st. For tickets, or more information, call the Palm Canyon Theatre Box Office at 760-323-5123 or order online: PalmCanyonTheatre.org.
Dee Jae Cox, is a playwright, director and producer.
Cofounder and Artistic Director of The Los Angeles Women’s Theatre Project. www.losangeleswomenstheatreproject.org
And Co-Creator of the Palm Springs Theatre Go-To Guide,