Spamalot, the former Broadway musical based on the classic comedy film Monty Python and the Holy Grail, finds a way to blend music with the classic tale of King Arthur of Britain and his Knights of the Round Table into a wonderful production full of laughs, fourth-wall breaks, and flashy costumes with dance numbers that are a thrill to watch. This was all evident in The Albany Academies’ stellar production of Spamalot’s school edition, directed by Mr. Johnson with assistant direction from Mr. Collett, music direction by Ms. Kouloriotis, vocal direction by Mr. Streifert, and choreography by Emily Allen.
Set during an unspecified year during the medieval era, Spamalot tells a unique version of King Arthur (Roberto Barron)’s quest to retrieve the Holy Grail. Arthur is accompanied on this quest by his Knights, Sir Lancelot, Sir Robin, Sir Galahad, Sir Bedevere, and Sir Bors (Peter Murphy, Anika Meeusen, Oliver Nathanielsz, Erik Payton, Eli Thoma, respectively), and his butler, Patsy (Maria Karasavidis). Upon His noticing that the kingdom is in anarchy, the quest is issued upon Arthur and his Court of Camelot (the Knights and Patsy) by God Himself. This musical shows the several adventures of Arthur and his Court throughout their journey to retrieve the grail.
Perhaps the biggest aspect of the musical is the comedy, which is prominent all throughout it. The Academies’ production of the show never missed a beat in terms of humor, from short, yet hilarious, conversations like the ones between King Arthur and various guards (Ella Gibbs, Katrina Peyton, Ursi Wolfe) to longer scenes like the quest to find a shrubbery given to Arthur and his Knights by the Knights Who Say “Ni!” (Tristan Lauricella, Leah Cave, Jack Googins, Alice Ma, Ella Gibbs). The hilarity in all these scenes and others was in no small part due to the incredibly talented cast.Thanks to the actors’ perfect delivery and comedic timing, not a single joke in the show was made that didn’t elicit laughter from nearly the entire audience. Another part of this rendering of Spamalot that was a delight to watch was, well, the musical aspect of it – the singing and the choreography was undoubtedly the best I’ve seen in a musical throughout my time at the Academies thus far. Some notable musical moments that stood out were “His Name Is Lancelot” due to the sheer amount of energy that was evident in every person in the cast, as they danced and sang in some of the best costumes of the night.In addition to that,every solo was sung by the Lady of the Lake (Emily Allen) was beautiful.
The Albany Academies’ production of Spamalot was an absolute pleasure to be able to watch, and it had me laughing for at least half of its runtime. From the talent of the cast showcased through incredible singing, dancing, and acting, to the costumes and props, there was never a dull moment in this show. I can say with certainty that I was not the only one who fully enjoyed Spamalot. One audience member said they “enjoyed how the play was scripted to interact with and acknowledge the audience. It caused them to feel like a part of the cast in a way,” and another said they “thought it was a wonderful experience for the viewers and a true representation of the passion for art that students have at the Academies”. I fully agree with what the second audience member said– Spamalot did an excellent job of showing how passionate students are about the arts at the Academies, and how important arts can be to people, allowing individuals to express themselves and make friends through bonding experiences like no other.