Always Look On The Bright Side of Life: A Review of Spamalot at 5th Avenue Theatre, by Anonymous

 “Broadway is a very special  place, filled with very special  people. People who can sing  and dance, often at the same  time. They are a different  people, a multitalented people, a people who need people, and who are, in many ways… the luckiest people in the world.” And watching those gleeful knights prancing around onstage, they certainly seem to think they are.

I’ll admit I’m biased. I love the 5th Avenue, and I love musicals. Even so, this production is particularly amusing to watch. From the moment the overture begins, this fast-paced musical is intent on keeping the audience as entertained as possible.

Spamalot is best known as a musical parody of Monty Python and the Holy Grail, but it’s also a spoof of the Broadway musical. Fans of the movie will thoroughly enjoy the familiar characters, and the general absurdity of the show. Scenes such as “it’s only a flesh wound” and “the Knights who say Ni!” are lovingly transformed to stage with ease (although the rabbit puppet is a bit weak).

The actors are wonderful. Matt Own plays Brave (but not-as-brave-as-Sir-Lancelot) Sir Robin with his usual boyish enthusiasm. Dane Stokinger doubles as the fabulous Sir Lancelot and the infamous French Taunter. King Arthur, performed by longtime veteran Allen Fitzpatrick, is delightfully chivalrous and noble. His faithful companion Patsy (Greg McCormick Allen) is absolutely adorable; I’m All Alone will make you cry. Laura Griffith gives the Lady of the Lake everything she’s got. And the ensemble has seemingly endless energy, tapping and twirling their way through multiple costume changes.

Many of the sets and costumes are actually from the original Broadway production (King Arthur becomes lost in a “dark and extremely expensive forest”). The orchestra beautifully compliments the onstage hilarity, even bringing in a few laughs themselves. All in all, it’s a jubilant show that really looks on the bright side of life.