Granbury Theatre Company's Spamalot Is Bright and Breezy

Like the canned meat product for which it's named, the musical comedy Spamalot is a funny-looking conglomerate of weird ingredients, some easily identifiable, some a bit gross. Granbury Theatre Company, the community-based troupe at the historic Granbury Opera House south of Fort Worth, has a tasty fry-up of Monty Python's Spamalot going on. It's silly as hell, a little rough around the edges, but delivers all that this show promises, namely big songs and plenty of grins.

Directed and choreographed by company artistic director Kent Whites, and performed with canned music, this Spamalot benefits from a cast of energetic local theater kids and a few slightly older ham-ateurs who aren't afraid to go all out with broad physical comedy in the meatier roles. They have studied the funny walks and goofy voices of the Pythons, whence Spamalot was sliced from the films The Life of Brian and Monty Python and the Holy Grail. And they know how to land the jokes, which sometimes depend on a well-timed cat screech or a rude thrust of a codpiece.

Spamalot is a lot of things, not just a musical spoof of Arthurian legend. The book and lyrics by Pythoner Eric Idle and music by Idle and John Du Prez make mean fun of current Broadway musicals' penchant for gooey ballads via the self-referential "The Song That Goes Like This." They point out how "You Won't Succeed on Broadway" if certain aspects of The Producers and Fiddler on the Roof aren't present. Classic Python bits including the killer rabbit and bring-out-your-dead sketches and the "Knights Who Say Ni" wend their way into Spamalot, too. There is even a nod to the dead parrot.

Bearded Brian Lawson plays King Arthur at full comedic gallop, sound effects provided by coconut shells clip-clopped by David Goza as Arthur's filthy servant Patsy. Resplendent in acres of blue silk, Emily Warwick belts two showstoppers as the Lady of the Lake (she also designed the costumes and props). Shane Brooks has a devilish twinkle as Lancelot. Nate Milson adds nice vocal heft and some hairy slapstick to the role of Galahad.

Spamalot fits snugly into the 10-row theater. And even though some of the dancers seem to be hopping clods, and a skirt or a wiglet occasionally hits the floor (and not on purpose), the players aren't fazed. If it gets more laughs, another slip-up is a happy by-product.

Monty Python's Spamalot continues through April 12 at Granbury Theatre Company, Granbury Opera House, 133 E. Pearl St., Granbury. Tickets $20-$25 at 817-579-0952.

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Elaine Liner
Contact: Elaine Liner