Spamalot! by Bordentown Regional High School in Bordentown, NJ
March 7, 2017
Review submitted by Victoria Kline of Academy of the New Church
Bring out your dead! Bring out your dead! England in the Middle Ages was a horrible place to be with plague and class disparity everywhere. But leave it to the cast and crew of Bordentown Regional to find the humor in the darkest of ages- and make the audience roar with laughter in their production of Spamalot!
Adapted in 2005 from the 1975 film Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Spamalot is a musical parody of Arthurian legend. It follows the Knights of the Round Table in their quest to find the Holy Grail, a quest on which they meet all sorts of unpredictable obstacles and absurd side plots, such as killer rabbits, invincible knights, and the French.
Evan Braasch led the production as the great King Arthur, with his perfect comedic timing and consistent accent lending to the hilarity of his character. His deep voice also shone in songs like “I’m All Alone.” The Lady of the Lake was played by Daria Briggs, her sassy stage presence and powerful vocals always commanding the spotlight.
Arthur’s Knights of the Round Table each rode off on their ludicrous journeys, each one singing, dancing, and acting in their own signature style. Sir Robin, a Broadway wannabe, was played spectacularly by Shannon Hansell; Sir Lancelot, a man just discovering his true identity, by Nicomah Faiz; and Galahad, a former cynic turned noble knight, by Nathan Scranton. Abigayle Harnum and Calvin Okulicz stole the spotlight every so often as the hysterical Minstrels, their gorgeous voices and tongue-in-cheek lines adding to the ridiculousness of the show.
The show’s featured roles proved that there truly are no small parts, only small actors, as they acted with as much character and energy as the larger roles. Jack Ashfield especially shone with multiple comedic roles, including the French Taunter and God.
Ever-changing lighting added depth and mood to scenes, backed by seamless stage management. Although sound balance sometimes presented some difficulties, the cast kept on track with their ever-increasing energy.
Amidst the riotous humor and upbeat musical numbers, Bordentown Regional’s satirical comedy Spamalot tackled themes of finding ourselves and our happiness, showing that in the end “we must all find the grail within us.”
Review submitted by Kyla McAvinue of Archmere Academy
Humor, excitement, talent, and a little bit of quirkiness all seem to accurately describe Bordentown’s wonderful performance of Monty Python’s Spamalot!
Premiering on Broadway in 2005, Spamalot was originally adapted from the famous film, Monty Python and the Holy Grail. The musical version follows the same story of King Arthur and the amusing Knights of the Round Table in their attempts to find the Holy Grail.
The Bordentown cast captured and committed to their outlandish characters, and in return received well-deserved laughter from the audience. Evan Braasch, who played King Arthur, carried the production with his subtle wit and enjoyable voice. Playing the female lead, Daria Briggs (Lady of the Lake) also did a great job in portraying a flamboyant diva through her dancing and sassy attitude. Another actor who definitely deserves recognition is Nicomah Faiz, who played Lancelot. Faiz, a natural on stage, stole the show with his hysterical improvisational dance moves and his hilarious facial expressions, convincing us all “His Name is Lancelot.”
On the technical side, both the Stage Manager (Erin Caltiere) and Choreographer (Erin Ryan) definitely made their presence known from off stage. Between set changes, lighting cues, and mic switches, Erin Caltiere directed her crew seamlessly with only a few quiet mics at times. Erin Ryan also surprised everyone with her clean and exciting choreography that could have easily been mistaken for an adult’s work. With over seven dance numbers, Erin Ryan brought new and innovative routines that captured the lively spirit of the show, while also insuring crispness of each step even when the full ensemble packed the stage.
To conclude, Bordentown’s rendition of Monty Python’s Spamalot provided a night of laughter and pleasure due to the catchy songs, big dance numbers, and overall outrageous humor. But to top it all off, character Patsy (Isabella Mayo) reminded us to “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life,” and she kept audience members singing it on their way out the building.