3/19/2023 MONTY PYTHON'S SPAMALOT City Springs Theatre Co
THE REVIEW THAT GOES LIKE THIS
As I grow older, every now and then I see shows that I have seen often before. Because I am dimly fog-headed and lazy, my tendency is to just copy and paste reviews that have already been written, especially if they parodize anything that may or may not have anything to do with the show with which I am again engaging. Even more especially if it’s an favorite favorite that never seems to get old.
I may (or may not) do this here because Monty Python’s Spamalot may (or may not) be one of those shows that never gets old. Spoiler alert – It hasn’t gotten “old” yet, in spite of its many non-woke elements which now seem only funnier.
Congratulations on receiving the Executive Version of this review. A limited number of Better-Than-Average Buzz Users have been personally chosen to receive this select edition. It is carefully delivered to your computer by your hand-picked ISP and is translated into a language in which only you are fluent. It contains little or no offensive material, apart from four #%*%$'s, two *&^#$'s, and one F^%$-Bomb, and, since they have been transformed into cartoon swear-spell, you are safely past them now.
So, on to my review. It begins like this:
Sandy Springs. The 21st Century. A plague of Pythons has befallen this fell exurb, rendering the stage of the Byers Theatre asunder, as if trod upon by the flat feet of God.
Perhaps my review should go like this -- I laughed, I cried, it was better than Cats. And the production never wastes an opportunity to remind us that Cats is coming in May. Forewarned is half an octopus.
Perhaps another review would go like this -- I was appalled! How DARE they cut the role of Kenneth Clarke? How DARE they imply the presence of a two-soled flat-footed God? How DARE they impugn the great nation of Finland? How DARE they not include the Piranha Brothers and the Spamish Repetition and the Dead Parrot? How DARE they Dare this? It’s the sort of blinkered Philistine pig-ignorance I’ve come to expect from the non-creative hoi polloi that pollute our civilization.
But my review will go like this -- Um. I don’t know. It didn't suck. I laughed. A Lot. It was by far the best production of this lark it has been my duty to see. Of course I haven’t seen any since 2014, and I have little faith in my calcifyingly corrupt brain cells, especially those assigned to the memory cache.
Now my review will digress into a series of philosophical, existential ponderings that give the pseudo-intellectualites among us fodder for cud. Just like this --
Did you know that God often loses kitchen cups?
Did you know that even the poorest peasants wear costumes made of silken samite?
Does Sandy Springs really have a dearth of Semites? (This is after all, a Sunday matinee.)
What does that beggar do with his alms? (I suspect he goes backstage to lend a hand.)
What do you see when you’re looking up the skirt of God?
Am I the only one whose mental voice of God sounds suspiciously like Eric Idle?
Why do all the local and "see our next show" references get funnier the more they accumulate? Aesthetic sensibilities should make us cry “Enough! Please” rather than the “More! More! Again!” that seemed to drip from my brain.
This is where my review stops asking questions and starts talking about the cast. This is where I must needs write about this production and not the last one.
I start with Googie Uterhardt (surely a Finnish name if ever I heard one). He brings to the role of King Arthur a pseudo-British proto-American starchiness that is surprisingly relaxed and fun-loving. That he is ably matched by everyone, especially David Rosetti’s Sir Robin, Billy Tighe’s Sir Galahad, and Roberto Méndez’ Patsy, will, of course, remain not unsaid. In other (many) roles, Nick Walker Jones, Tyler Pirrung, and Kyle Robert Carter fill the ensemble with skill and not a little silliness and totally apropos mugging.
But towering head and shoulder above them all (often literally), is Kristine Reese. Ms. Reese brings to the Lady of the Lake a full-flowering diva-osity, a Medieval aire of winsome delight, a sonic rafter full of Broadway-esque Belt skill, all of which are truly staggering. I loved every minute she was on stage and fully agree with her assessment that Act II keeps her off for far too long.
I close out the kudos section of this review by mentioning that the live full pit orchestra, led by M.D. Greg Matteson hits every note right (at least the ones that are supposed to be right) and gives a full-bodied musical support that never overwhelms, that echoes resoundingly from every corner of the universe. But perhaps I over-praise ….
This is the part of the review where I laboriously tie up any willing readers and subject them to some sort of denouement. It has to go somewhere.
So, in spite of neglecting some of the more obscure Pythonalia (by saying this, this review cites a previously stated comment in an obscure fashion that serves to add to my word-count), Monty Python's Spamalot is now and always a welcome visitor to any of our fair exurbs, a marvelous compendium of excess and silliesque digressions, a profound rumination on the Godlike Hubris of Theatrical Producers (and their Pseudo-Semitic Base), and a heart-felt homage to the glories of Finland, Sandy Springs, City Springs Theatre Company, and the upcoming production of Cats (NOT the butthole edition).
And, now, for something completely different, this is the end of my review.
-- Brad Rudy (BKRudy@aol.com #CitySpringsTheatreCompany #Python,Monty #Spamalot)
PS - Recipients of the Executive Version of this posting receive a postscript not included in the regular version.