The Coastal Repertory Theater is back with another great treat, “Monty Python’s Spamalot,” which opens August 5 and runs through August 28.
“It’s kind of an awkward play,” said director Paul Smith. “But it takes an incredible amount of work and skill to put ‘goofy’ together.”
“Spamalot” tells the legendary story of King Arthur’s quest to find the Holy Grail, and inspired by the classic comedy film “Monty Python and the Holy Grail”, the play’s dialogue is sure to ring a bell for fans. fans of the original. But with dancing girls, killer bunnies and the humorous quest of the knights, the musical is a work in its own right.
The Coastal Repertory Theater was alive with music again during Thursday night’s rehearsal as, for the first time since COVID-19, it will host a musical.
“You don’t need to know anything about the story,” Smith said. “In fact, you can walk in the door knowing nothing at all, and you’ll still leave knowing nothing, but you’ll be hissing ‘Always look on the bright side of life’.”
For Smith, this show is special, because he’s been trying to bring it to the theater since 2018. The first season they couldn’t get the rights, then once they did, in 2019, the theater was closed due to COVID -19.
“It’s a lot of fun,” he said. “It’s worth laughing at. It’s not something you can take seriously, it’s not something you can learn anything from. It’s not something you can do except watch and laugh.
The large cast, more than 20 musical numbers and a moving set attracted musical director Sabina Perlsweig and choreographer Julia Thollaug, both up for the challenge.
“It was very exciting and a completely different ball game,” Perlsweig said. “There are actors who have to be really good singers, and the Ladies of the Lake who have these beautiful melodies and complex things that they do, and then more character roles, who really have to put a lot of play into the singing, which can be a very big challenge. But all of these actors did an amazing job.
Thollaug discovered Monty Python in seventh grade and said it was part of who she was in terms of what she found funny and how she analyzed things.
“But more than that, I love Paul (Smith),” she said. “Between my intense love for Monty Python and my intense affection for Paul (Smith), I was like, ‘I’ll be there.'”
One of Thollaug’s goals for this piece as a choreographer is to make scene changes pleasing to the eye for the audience. This means that instead of mitigating
changing lights and sets, she worked on a dynamic way of staggering the scenes, sets and characters during the numbers.
The biggest challenge is that the choreographer and cast won’t have a full set until a few weeks before the opening, but Thollaug is confident they can do it.
The Coastal Repertory Theater warns that the production has adult themes and parental guidance is recommended. For more information or to buy tickets, visit coastrep.com.