Summer Player's Spamalot is Silly, Mischievous, Fun
By Ezekiel McAdams
July 2 2017
Saskatoon Summer Player's production of Spamalot, is the perfect summer fun we didn't know we needed.
Originally produced in 2005, on Broadway, this is a very loose adaptation of Monty Python's 1975 film, Monty Python and the Holy Grail. This is just one of a thousand productions mounted and the SSP, does it justice.
The play is a very loose amalgamation and love letter to the best of Python, dripping with infectious joy and the irreverent humor you've come to expect. Fans and newcomers will see a show, packed with gags, musical numbers, self deprecation and that sardonic humour you never knew you needed in a musical, until it hits you in the face with a fish.
The very thin story involves, King Arthur (Rob Reynolds), his trusty, never appreciated sidekick, Patsy, (Grant Martens), his band of knights (Greg Malin, Bobby Williston, Rob Armstrong, Jason Arcand and James Hataley) going on a quest to recover the Holy Grail, with help from The Lady in the Lake (Kristel Harder) and running into the French, Forest spirits and a confident, persistent, Black Knight.
The sprawling cast which is huge, over fifty, are all fantastic and are used to great effect, from the dancers, the Laker Girls to the Historians. Every single one of the cast sells their part and all seem to be enjoying the process as much as the audience.
The direction from Lorna Batycki, is sublime and should not go unnoticed. Batycki, had a monumental task of assembling a large cast, musical numbers as well as the minor production issues of a show of this stature, and her direction presents a well oiled machine that aside from a few technical issues, brings a joy and warmth to the show that is truly infectious.
Reynolds is fantastic as the titular, mythic, Arthur, who brings a pompousness as well as a naiveté to the character that balances out his numerous flaws. Harder, steals the show as the Lady in the Lake, her bombastic portrayal is so funny and over the top, which in a lot of other hands, would make a character stale, Harder's performance, only makes you want more. A highlight is a musical number, where she flawlessly alternates between various keys, before crooning like an old timey, Jazz singer, only to finish, by scatting.
The knights are all memorable and hilarious, from Williston's touching and memorable performance of Lancelot's coming of age story to Armstrong's original vulgar, conspiracy laced character to his transformation as a suave, sophisticated, Sir Galahad.
Megan McDonald's chorography is great, making every number memorable. This includes the dancers, who play everyone from townsfolk, Ni Nights, Frenchies and the Laker Girls. The dancers, despite having no lines, all feel like characters which greatly benefits the production and is a credit to McDonald.
The costumes, comprised of, fantastic period outfits and designs are credited to Head of Wardrobe, Nicole Zalesak who does a tremendous job, balancing both the huge cast but also the period as well as creating memorable costumes.
Every member of the cast and crew from lights, design, sound, orchestra did an amazing job and should be applauded.
Spamalot is a must see production, that will give you, the fun kick start to the summer that your funny bone will appreciate. The SSP really outdid themselves with this production.
Spamalot is playing at Remai Arts Centre from July 2-9. Check out www.saskatoonsummerplayer.com for show times and box office information.