Spamalot to make a one-night stop in Dayton
By Brian P. Sharp
For the Monty Python followers, this is like the Holy Grail. The opportunity to see Spamalot on the Dayton stage as the touring company brings this hysterical show to life Oct. 30 at the Schuster Center. Winner of the 2005 Tony Award for Best Musical, Monty Python’s Spamalot is the outrageous comedy lovingly ripped off from the film classic Monty Python and The Holy Grail. Directed by Tony Award winner Mike Nichols, with a book by Eric Idle and music and lyrics by the Grammy Award winning team of Mr. Idle and John Du Prez, Spamalot tells the tale of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table as they embark on their quest for the Holy Grail. Flying cows, killer rabbits, taunting Frenchmen and show stopping musical numbers abound.
If you’re thinking Camelot — well it’s that with a twist — as only Monty Python can do it. This is the type of show where loyal followers will show up in costume just to see the show. As good as the show can be, sometimes crowd watching can be just as fun. You will need to see it to believe it — this highly irreverent parody of the legend.
Besides the fun that will be had by all both on and off the stage, there is another very important reason to see this show in Dayton — Tiffani Robbins, one of Dayton’s own who is coming back home on this national tour. Robbins hails from the Fairborn/Beavercreek area where she attended Xenia Christian High School and later attended Wright State University. This actress is becoming quite the traveler. After a stint in the Wedding Singer national tour, she joins the national tour of Spamalot. Robbins has also performed on cruise ships and in Atlantic City.
“Spamalot is a fun and silly show,” said Robbins. “The audience always leaves smiling.”
But with all the excitement of performing in yet another traveling hit show, the thing Robbins looks forward to most about setting foot in the city is being back home.
“The life on the road isn’t all that glamorous, but that they take good care of [me],” she said.
Robbins’ brother and grandmother both still live in the area and she looks forward to spending time with them while she’s here. Robbins did some work in community theatre when she lived in the area and remembers performing with her mother at the Kuss Auditorium in Springfield.
“This work takes a lot of time and dedication,” said Robbins, but she can’t imagine doing anything else. She is looking forward to her first performance on the Schuster stage.
This will be an evening of lively theatre, full of musical numbers that will keep you laughing from curtain up to curtain down. Even if you are a newcomer to Monty Python humor, you will thoroughly enjoy the hunt for the Grail. What can be more exciting than a stage full of sword-wielding, glitter clad, some brave (some cowering) men in tights?
Amazing costumes and plenty of them, you will be set for a fabulous production.
A great part of the success of this show goes to the amazing choreography by Casey Nicholaw — it is near riotous. As a Tony Award, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle nominee you would expect no less. He even won a Tony Award this year for his work in The Book of Mormon. This choreography will leave you breathless.
“The actors keep the show on fire,” said Robbins.
Great performances and a lot of commitment from the ensemble make a great background for the other actors.
This is a true masterpiece on stage. I love a good musical that can give homage, however hilarious, to other musicals. Be on the lookout for references to Les Miserables, Fiddler on the Roof, Dreamgirls, West Side Story and others.
So it’s really up to you. You have one chance and only one to see Spamalot on the Schuster stage and find your Holy Grail.
Monty Python’s Spamalot is produced by Stephen B. Kane, Michael McFadden and Phoenix Entertainment. Monty Python isn’t a person, but a group of British actors and writers (and one American) that performed their famous comedy show Monty Python’s Flying Circus on the BBC from 1969 to 1974, with subsequent international fame and success.
Tickets can be purchased online at www.ticketcenterstage.com or by calling (937) 228-3630.
Reach DCP theater critic Brian P. Sharp at Theatre@DaytonCityPaper.com.