Porchlight Players present Monty Python’s hilarious skewering of the King Arthur legend | VailDaily.com

Porchlight Players present Monty Python’s hilarious skewering of the King Arthur legend

The Porchlight Players are presenting "Spamalot," a musical version of "Monty Python's Quest for the Holy Grail." The performances are all sold out.

EAGLE — The Porchlight Players have found their Holy Grail.

The local theater troupe today opens a run of "Spamalot," the Tony Award-winning burlesque musical, lovingly ripped off by Eric Idle from the classic film comedy "Monty Python and the Holy Grail."

For the humor-impaired, "Spamalot" retells the legend of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table. It features a bevy of beautiful showgirls, flying cows, killer rabbits and the taunting Frenchman.

Porchlight veteran Ann Olin directs the troupe's first foray into scenic theater. They chose "Spamalot" from a stack of 15 or 20 show options in a shorter expanse of time than anything this side of a theoretical physics experiment.

“Who doesn’t like ‘Monty Python’? And if someone doesn’t, you don’t want to hang around them. You don’t need that kind of negativity in your life.”Anna Olin‘Spamalot’ director

"Who doesn't like 'Monty Python?'" Olin asked. "And if someone doesn't, you don't want to hang around them. You don't need that kind of negativity in your life."

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The entire run is already sold out, although lots and lots of Porchlight and Python fans have been whining and wheedling and begging for the Porchlight Players to add another performance or two.

"That would be a 'no,'" Olin said.

Scenic theater

The set is dominated by a projection screen featuring shots you'll recognize from the movie. Rudy Olin works with Disney and is home to run the board for "Spamalot."

Paul Witt is Patsy, King Arthur's horse and servant. He's the guy who follows King Arthur around banging together coconuts, making clopping noises. Witt answers the questions so many have asked: "Yes, they're really coconuts, and yes, they really make that sound," he said, clomping them together to make the effect.

About half of the 17-member cast is new to Porchlight Players, including Jamie Harrison. He's Sir Bedevere the Flatulent. It is not type casting.

He saw last year's Porchlight Players' "Young Frankenstein" production and said to himself, "That looks like fun."

"I tried out and landed the part," Harrison said smiling.

"It's just like Lana Turner's story" Witt interjected.

Bart Garton is back, this time as Sir Galahad.

"I start out getting the girl, then everyone gets the girl," Garton said.

The costumes are from a professional theater house, and look that good, except for the Black Knight costume they sent. It was pretty much awful.

So Ann Olin, whose brain doesn't have an off-switch anyway, woke up one morning at 5 a.m. Moments later, she was sitting in front of her computer, looking at Black Knight costumes, and decided she could make a better one. So she did.

Rodney Johnson is positively resplendent in it (Sir Rodney the Resplendent?).

'Willy-nilly'

A pre-show recording by John Cleese encourages members of the audience to "let your cellphones and pagers ring willy-nilly," and warns that they should "be aware there are heavily armed knights on stage that may drag you on stage and impale you."

The 2005 Broadway production won three Tony Awards, including "Best Musical," and received 14 Tony Award nominations. During its initial run of more than 1,500 performances in 2005, "Spamalot" was seen by more than 2 million people and grossed more than $175 million.

Idle explained the title.

"I like the title 'Spamalot' a lot. We tested it with audiences on my recent U.S. tour and they liked it as much as I did, which is gratifying. After all, they are the ones who will be paying Broadway prices to see the show. It comes from a line in the movie which goes: 'We eat ham, and jam and Spam a lot.'"

Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 and rwyrick@vaildaily.com.

If You Go …

The Porchlight Players’ dinner theater production of “Spamalot,” at Eagle’s Brush Creek Pavilion, is sold out. But if you feel like begging and whining, go to porchlightplayers.com.

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