“Spamalot,” a show based on the popular movie “Monty Python and the Holy Grail,” is Funky Little Theater Company’s first musical production. Josh Neal as King Arthur leads his motley crew of knights of the roundtable on a quest for the holy grail, encountering interesting characters such as the Lady of the Lake (Cheerish Evans) and Herbert (Jackson Hurford-Reynolds.)
I’m not a huge fan of Monty Python’s humor. I’ll chuckle at it but find it tiresome after a while. But Funky did a great job of keeping the entire audience engaged in the show. The music was spectacular, especially considering that this is its first musical, thanks to the cast’s vocal talents.
Evans and Neal, the two leads, had strong performances singing and acting. The Lady of the Lake often broke the fourth wall, singing about feeling neglected by the director in “Whatever Happened to My Part” in the second act. Later, Arthur sings “I’m All Alone,” though he’s not alone and sings with Patsy (Kyle Husted) and his knights.
The show really shines in its first act, when the concept is fresh and the humor unexpected. In the second act, the show felt as if it were reaching. That’s partly because of the play’s origins in a cult classic film. By the time the Knights Who Say “Ni!” came onstage, it felt as if the show was pulling out as many popular references as possible to keep the audience invested.
The marriage of Lancelot (Nate Woodroof) and Herbert was very cute, and both characters were believable. Lancelot is the last knight you would expect to be gay, with his hulking frame and propensity for violence. Herbert is the last prince you would expect to be a prince, in his floral crown and nightgown. The two are united, though, and somehow find love over their shared daddy issues.
“Spamalot” was an impressive showing for a community company doing its first musical theater. The shortcomings come not from the choreography and music, but rather from the structure of the show itself. It uses a lot of unpolished, off-the-cuff humor, so it’s a perfect first musical to take on.
Monty Python fans will find this show riotously funny and entertaining. But even if you don’t love “the Holy Grail,” it’s worth a trip to the Funky Little Theater Co.’s production of “Spamalot.”GRADE: B