"Once in every show, there comes a little song, it starts out soft and low, and goes on and on and on... and ends up with a kiss, this is the song that goes like this." Thus is Spamalot.
Spamalot is a show that appeared on Broadway and won three Tony awards in 2005. It is based on the movie by Eric Idle "Monty Python and the Holy Grail". In typical Monty Python style it is funny, slightly obscene, and not politically correct. This show is meant to be entirely entertaining using basic slapstick comedy and poking fun at other Broadway musicals and Las Vegas shows. The current production at the Omaha Community Playhouse is delightfully fun to watch and includes even a little audience participation with each show featuring one local long-time supporter of the theater.
This cast is immensely talented with phenomenal singing voices. I could have just listened to their songs all night with their well-balanced harmonies. Every voice could have been a lead role.
In the lead role of King Arthur, Nick Albrecht beautifully fills the theater with his mellow baritone voice. As his sidekick Patsy, Brian Priesman charms the audience during "I'm all Alone" and "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life" while still being the master of the coconut shells. As The Lady of the Lake, Melanie Walters is phenomenal with her gorgeous singing while doing double duty as the shows choreographer. Matthew Jeske is unquestionably multi-talented in his often scene stealing roles as the Historian, Not Dead Fred, a French guard, The Head Knight Who Says "Ni", the Lead Minstrel, Prince Herbert's Father, and Brother Maynard. Yes, he has a different costume and personality for each one within the two-hour show.
For those appearing on the stage, with the constant costume changes and fast-paced, high-energy levels required, every cast member has to be exhausted by the end but never misses a beat. This has to be one of the best ensembles assembled anywhere. My regret is not mentioning each one. A perfect example is Josh Davis who excelled as the mime and puppetteer. What is a mime doing in a show about King Arthur? Go see the show to find out.
The eleven band members under the direction of Jim Boggness are wonderful. During the preview night, the balance was always perfect thanks also to the sound crew. Comically at times the trumpets almost become another character.
This production has a large cast with many actors having more than one role requiring numerous dressing changes. The supporting crew and cast are phenomenal with these costume and scene changes.
The large numbers of supporting crew members are outstanding with this almost seamless production. On preview night, which is essentially the final dress rehearsal, the projection screen lagged behind the stage action. I feel confident that this is fixed for the other shows.
The show lasts a little over two hours. It is fast-paced and adult oriented. Even though it is a light-heared musical with catchy tunes, this is not a show for children.
Spamalot continues at the Omaha Community Playhouse located at 6915 Cass Street in Omaha until June 28th with showtimes at 7:30 Wednesday through Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m. Ticket prices are $ 40 for adults and $ 25 for students with discounts for groups of more than twelve and can be purchased by contacting the Omaha Community Playhouse box office by phone at (402) 553-0800 or online at www.OmahaPlayhouse. org or www.Ticket Omaha.com.
Please leave your coconut shells at home. (If you don't understand this request, go see the show.) Even if you do understand it, grab the opportunity to see this completely laughable. light-hearted and entertaining production.