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‘Spamalot’ a madcap musical

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By Sara Miller

The lazy days of summer are finally here. The school year has ended, and schedules shift to barbecues and vacations. However, what if your schedule doesn’t allow for castle exploration and island-hopping adventures? Why not take a hilarious romp through English myth and history right here at home? StageDoor Theatre’s adult company presents its latest production of Monty Python’s “Spamalot.” Although not historically accurate by any stretch, the hilarity and quirkiness of “Spamalot” will make you feel as though you’ve traveled to another world.

“Spamalot” hit the theater scene in 2004 when Eric Idle, an original member of the Monty Python British comedy group, repurposed the 1975 film “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” as a musical. The show opened on Broadway in 2005, and it received 14 Tony nominations and won three. A touring version visited Denver’s Buell Theater in 2007 and 2013.

Lovingly ripped off the original film, “Spamalot” offers a combination of familiar Monty Python fare — such as King Arthur’s epic battle with the Black Knight to the corps of Knights Who Say “Ni” — and new material. Python fans are sure to be delighted, but the show also extends a welcome to newbies joining the Python flying circus.

“Spamalot” retells the legend of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table on a quest for the Holy Grail. Along the way, the audience is treated to a bevy of Laker cheerleaders, not to mention cows, killer rabbits, French people and a moose.

King Arthur (John Gleason) and his faithful manservant, Patsy (Justin Johnson), lead the quest for the Holy Grail. Along the way Sir Lancelot (Clinton Clark), the antithesis of the one that ran off with Guinevere, joins up, along with Sir Robin (Stephen Sbanotto), Sir Galahad (Aaron Paschall) and Sir Belvedere, (Bob Mitchell). They all play multiple roles, as does Brandon Keller as Not-Dead-Fred and others. Throw in a Lady of The Lake (Marika Reisberg), and off you go on a madcap adventure.

“The only thing missing from the original was the moose, and we’ve taken care of that,” says director KQ Quintana. “If the performances are half as much fun as the rehearsals have been, the audience is going to love it.”

Many cast members and the director are new faces at StageDoor. The popularity of Monty Python is magnetic for audiences and thespians alike. Quintana jumped at the opportunity to direct “Spamalot” when approached by StageDoor board member Jill Manser.

“It’s Monty Python. How can you say no to that?” Quintana said.

In keeping with the search-for-the-grail theme, StageDoor has collaborated with River Canyon Gallery in Bailey to bring a different original “Holy Grail” work of art handcrafted by a featured artist to every performance. Each Holy Grail will be a unique piece awarded via silent auction at the end of intermission. The grails are on display at the theater, and photos of each piece are posted at www.stagedoortheatre.org.

Sara Miller, a freelance writer and a resident of Evergreen, lives with her husband, two children and a dog.