LIMA — And now for something completely different. It’s “Spamalot,” a mish-mash of Monty Python skits and movies that fans of the long-running English comedy troupe will eat up.
Scripted by Python alumnus Eric Idle, the musical comedy tells the story of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table as they search for the Holy Grail. Naturally, it includes all of the silliness of any Monty Python offering. There are beautiful show girls, killer rabbits, flying cows, coconut-clapping horse substitutes, and those handsome knights.
“Sir Robin is an interesting role to play,” said Kasidy Devlin, who takes on the role of the knight for this performance. “It’s really a little dangerous. You want to pay homage to the original performance, but you don’t want to impersonate it. There’s no way I can do Eric Idle, the original knight. So, I try and be as sincere and earnest as possible,” Devlin said.
And it’s that sincerity that allows the material to take center stage.
“In a show like this, you almost play as if it’s not a comedy. If you start to get too silly, it becomes less funny. It’s easy to become absurd or over the top, but we try and treat it like a serious Shakespearean effort. But, a Shakespearean play that includes rabbits with fangs. Seriously though, it requires a very light touch and complete faith in the text. Python material has lasted a long time, which is a testament to the fine writing,” Devlin said.
For Python fans, Devlin said the laughter begins when Idle’s voice offers the cell phone announcement prior to the start of the show. For those not acquainted with Monty Python, the laughs come about three minutes into the show.
“This is a really good show. I got a note not long ago from a woman who was grieving, and she said for one and a half hours, she was able to laugh and everything just seemed easier. This is a happy show that everyone can put a smile on their face and sing together. In an age when we separate ourselves in so many ways, it’s a pleasure to see a community hugging each other and singing together,” Devlin said.