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The Bright Side Indeed

SpamalotA ship-shape touring edition of the ever-zany and utterly delightful Tony-winning musical "Spamalot"  has commenced a very brief run at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood, continuing through March 4. 

This tuner, ingeniously adapted by Eric Idle and John Du Prez from the classic comedy film, "Monty Python and the Holy Grail,"  has just about everything lovers of lighthearted musicals hope for-- a fun and tuneful score, a hilarious and well crafted book, a splendid production design brimmng with color and imagination, and a top-notch cast.  All of the ingredients that made the show a huge hit on Broadway are evident in this blissfully entertaining edition.

Standouts in the shimmering  ensemble include Arthur Rowan's sidesplitting turn in the lead role of alternatly noble and daffy King Arthur, the splendid Brittany Woodrow (a belting pop diva extraoridnaire and a drolly funny comedian) as the Lady in the Lake , Michael J. Berry as Arthur's trusty if goofy horse Patsy, and Adam Grabau and Jacob L. Smith in multiple roles. Yet there are no weak links in this talented troupe,  as BT McNicholl deftly recreates the original direction by Mike Nichols with the aid of these brilliant farceurs.  Lovers of musical theater will howl with laughter at the affectionate jabs at many musical classics, ranging from "A Chorus Line" to "West Side Story."

SoCal Stages_blogCasey Nicholaw's choregraphy is as witty and polished as ever, and Nolan Bonvouloir's musical direction and conducting are likewise exemplary.  (Steven M. Bishop serves as musical supervisor.) The visual designs are Broadway-calibre all the way. The holy grail of musical entertainment is alive and well in this wonderful production, which should delight Monty Python enthusiasts, and might just convince those who have been resistant to the Python charms to make a conversion.

--Les Spindle

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