Theatre review: “Monty Python’s Spamalot” sure to please fans of cult movie

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From the September 5, 2013 edition

Shadowbox Live gets its Python for the next 11 Sundays both having and delivering a grand old — as in medieval time in its production of “Monty Python’s Spamalot.” The 2005 musical by Eric Idle and John Du Prez was “lovingly ripped off from the motion picture ‘Monty Python and the Holy Grail,’” as the posters confess.

The natural fit between Shadowbox and Monty Python allows the company to cram a lot of smart and snarky humor into 135 minutes. Not to mention a fair share of pure giggly silliness, including puns both verbal and musical, Terry Gilliam-inspired animationopportunities to say such naughty words as “damn” a lot

Regal in bearing and precise in timing, Tom Cardinal makes a superb King Arthur. Diva that she is, Stephanie Shull makes the most of her part as he Lady of the Lake, accompanied by her intermittently lovely Laker Girls

David Whitehouse as Sir Lancelot, Robbie Nance as Sir Robin, JT Walker III as Sir Dennis Galahad, Jim Andes as Sir Bedevere and Amy Lay as Arthur’s sidekick Patsy all get to bring out their inner ham a lot.

The usually five-, but occasionally six-piece band, under the musical direction of Matthew Hahn, puts a Shadowbox stamp on the Broadway score adapted by director Stev Guyer. Keyboardist Kevin Patrick Sweeny particularly stands out. But sadly, the play format doesn’t allow the ensemble to jam a lot.

Whether you’re a fan of Shadowbox or of Monty Python, you’re bound to enjoy “Spamalot.” A lot.