Cappies Review: South Carroll’s “Monty Python’s Spamalot”

Heather Suesse, Guest Writer, Chesapeake

Whether you’re a king, a knight, or a peasant, you can always find adventure. South Carroll High School took audiences on an adventure back in time with their performance of the famous musical comedy “Monty Python’s Spamalot.”

The concept of “Monty Python’s Spamalot” is based on the 1975 film Monty Python and The Holy Grail, but the musical is different from the film in many ways. The original Broadway production opened in 2005 and closed in 2009. It received 14 Tony Awards nominations and won three of them, including Best Musical. This musical takes place in medieval England, as King Arthur recruits his Knights of the Round Table, each with a unique personality. When the group meets in Camelot, God sends them on a quest to find the Holy Grail. Along their journeys, the knights and king, along with his sidekick Patsy, encounter strange obstacles to overcome.

South Carroll High School’s energetic cast brought each scene to life in new ways and established individuality among characters. This production captured the whimsical and historical aspects that the script of “Monty Python’s Spamalot” allows for.With his mighty presence, Tristan Gregor (King Arthur) anchored the show. His expressions and execution of lines were constantly on point with the mood of each scene. Gwen Lillycrop (Lady of the Lake) brought just the right balance of grace and sass every time she stepped on the stage. She stole the show in each of her songs with the control she had over her gorgeous voice.Andrew Dueppen (Patsy) portrayed his lovable role by staying consistently engaged in what was going on and maintaining character. His reactions during the song “I’m All Alone” created one of the most memorable moments of the show. Ethan Hobbs (Lancelot) had an excellent amount of attitude in his movements and line delivery. Another actor with extravagant energy was Christian Ryder (Herbert) who had a certain sparkle and seemed very comfortable on the stage. Abi Culkin (Robin) and Nic Culkin (Galahad) were able to show growth as their characters found themselves. The entire ensemble’s expressions added liveliness to the show.

As with any show, the stage crew played an important role. The eye-catching costumes, completed by Alexa Kuykendall, and hair and makeup, done by Lauren Logue, captured the distinctiveness among characters. All sound effects from the show were impressively created from scratch by Alex Fleck and Noah Swank. The SC Pit orchestra, organized by Valarie Zanin, did an excellent job with music and played an even bigger role at times by acting along as well. Sarah Taylor and Allison Hilderbrand (stage management) did a wonderful job keeping this difficult show organized. Lastly, the choreography, created completely by Abi Culkin, featured various styles of dance and captivated the audience.

Overall, South Carroll High School’s take on the complicated show “Monty Python’s Spamalot” was very enjoyable to watch. The hard work put into this performance was evident and made it a success.