Thou needst not adhere to the cult of Monty Python to get a kick out of Spamalot, the Arthurian musical spoof opening April 26 at Santa Barbara High School.
Lovingly ripped off from the cinematic cult classic Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Spamalot — winner of three 2005 Tony Awards including Best Musical — follows the exploits of King Arthur and his knights as they encounter killer rabbits, flatulent Frenchmen and a legless knight. Like all good Monty Python comedy, it combines the anarchy of the Marx Brothers with a British spirit of absurdity and a straight-faced irreverence toward all that is sacred.
Spamalot is directed by longtime SBHS performing arts chair Otto Layman (40 productions in 17 years, including God of Carnage, The Drowsy Chaperone, Into the Woods and the award-winning production of Hair at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival), choreographed by Christina McCarthy, with costumes by renowned costume designer Lise Lange and sets/lights by longtime collaborator Mike Madden (The Drowsy Chaperone, Into the Woods, Singin’ in the Rain). SPAMALOT also features the musical talents of Jon Nathan and the UCSB Jazz Band, and the vocal direction of Sarah Eglin (both making their debuts with SBHS in this production).
Spamalot’s book and lyrics were created by Eric Idle, a member of the original Monty Python team, in collaboration with John Du Prez.
Performances of Monty Python’s Spamalot are 7 p.m. April 26-27 and May 2-4, with a special matinee performance and senior farewell ceremony at 2 p.m. Sunday, May 5. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students, seniors and kids, with the front orchestra section reserved at $25 (a continuing fundraiser for the renovation and maintenance of the space). To reserve tickets, call 888.979.DONS.
Monty Python’s Spamalot is supported by the Santa Barbara High School Theatre Foundation, the Santa Barbara Foundation, thinair concepts, the SJL Foundation, KEYT 3, The Walking Company, Mary Layman Prudential Realty California, Hub International, The Montecito Journal and American Riviera Bank.
— Otto Layman is the performing arts chair for Santa Barbara High School.