By Michelle Anne P. Soliman
Theater Review
Monty Python’s Spamalot
Presented by Upstart Productions
Ongoing until April 22
Globe Auditorium, Maybank
Performing Arts Theater,
BGC Arts Center, Taguig City.
KING ARTHUR, the knights, and the Lady of the Lake have returned to entertain Filipino audiences thanks to a limited rerun of Monty Python’s Spamalot at the Maybank Performing Arts Theater in BGC, Taguig.
Having failed to see the musical last year during its first staging in Manila is not a problem as co-director Joel Trinidad told BusinessWorld at the media preview that it is “essentially the same show.”
Based on the 1975 film Monty Python and the Holy Grail, the Tony/Grammy/Drama Desk award-winning musical parody is set in medieval England and follows Arthur, who was given the title of “King” by the Lady of the Lake. He continues to travel distances (with his companion Patsy tapping on coconut shells to mimic the sound of horse hooves) in search of noble men who would be interested to become members of the Knights of the Round Table and join him in Camelot.
When instructed by God to search for the Holy Grail, King Arthur and his knights travel around the world and suffer defeat by lewd French soldiers. They wander around “a dark and very expensive forest” where the Knights who say “Ni” demand that they bring them shrubbery, only to change their minds and challenge King Arthur and company to stage a musical.
Just as in the original absurd movie, the theater actors indeed present every absurdity and silliness naturally as if it were right (and it was). Lorenz Martinez and Carla Guevara-Laforteza keep it graceful and natural with “The Song that Goes Like This” as the song poked fun at the inevitable heartwarming ballads sung in musicals. One of the knights told the audience outright that the show that evening is a preview. The cast members even took a selfie with an audience member.
The improvised songs filled with pop culture-referencing to Justin Bieber’s lyrics, twerking like Miley Cyrus, and the Lady of the Lake’s performance spoofs of the likes of Celine Dion, Diana Ross, and Cher drew laughter and cheers from the audience.
The two-hour laugh-out-loud musical parody had this writer leave the theater humming to “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life” and not worried about what was up the next day.
Co-directed by Joel Trinidad and Nicky Triviño, Monty Python’s Spamalot runs until April 22 at the Globe Auditorium, Maybank Performing Arts Theater, BGC Arts Center, Taguig City. Shows are on Fridays (9 p.m.), Saturdays (3 and 8 p.m.), Sundays (3 and 8 p.m.). Tickets are available at TicketWorld (891-9999, and Upstart (0917-811-6156).