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“Spamalot” at The Muny Just For Grins

Harry Hamm
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harry star 4stars Spamalot at The Muny Just For Grins

At the end of the show Tuesday night at The Muny, “Spamalot” has succeeded in sending most patrons home with a great big smile. That’s what “Spamalot” does. A take-off of the film from 1975, “Monty Python and the Holy Grail,” it wins you over with its absolute silliness. It had me laughing out loud on several occasions. I haven’t laughed that much at The Muny since I saw Ken Kercheval trying to play Baron von Trapp.

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John O’Hurley is the errant King Arthur, in search of knights and the Holy Grail. (Look in the front row, your highness!) O’Hurley was good, but I would have enjoyed him more if he had nuanced the role a little sharper and been more over the top. David Hibbard as Arthur’s loyal sidekick, Patsy, is perfect. His mannerisms and style reminded me of Marty Feldman, and that’s a high compliment. Plus, he’s good with coconuts.

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Michele Ragusa as the Lady of the Lake is a scene-stealer with a great voice, but as her song in Act II denotes, she laments she doesn’t have enough scenes.

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Several people in this cast play multiple roles and do it well. Lampooning is a big element in “Spamalot,” and this large, talented cast have a fervor for it. There have been some minor changes, most notably in one song about how to have a successful Broadway show. That costs some edge in that particular number.

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The music and choreography of “Spamalot” are a spirited plus. The show fills the stage nicely, although sometimes larger numbers looked like numbers for numbers sake, and a little too casual.

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“Spamalot” is not a kids show, but there’s not really anything too offensive for any child over the age of reason.  After all, there are kids in the cast. If laughter really is the best medicine, “Spamalot” is a  prescription that will send you home a very happy theatergoer.

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