During each performance of “Monty Python’s Spamalot,” a member of the audience helps the cast locate the Holy Grail.
After the patron comes onstage at the end of the show, King Arthur (Courtney Rott Jr.) announces that the person’s name will be revered forever in Aberdeen, “along with the likes of the Fischer quintuplets and former Snow Queen Kristi Noem.”
Just think of that one person as representing the entire audience. Sort of like one for all and all for one.
There isn’t really a round table in the Aberdeen Community Theatre production of “Monty Python’s Spamalot,” but it’s easy to single out the knights. The stalwarts who set the pace for this production are Rott, Steve Balsarini, Joseph Weseloh and Seth Honerman. The musical also showcases the vocal talents of Northern State University student Yvonne Freese, who plays the Lady of the Lake.
Freese, who is a recordsetting discus thrower, can also carry a tune.
Unlike Spam, the ingredients in “Spamalot” are easy to trace. You’ll see lots of beloved gags from the inspired 1975 film, “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” — men who deny being dead, the Knights who say Ni and the Black Knight who says “It’s just a flesh wound” even after he’s dismembered.
Add to that are a couple of other familiar Python bits and a few spoofs of Broadway, created specifically for the play.
Most people will find the show enjoyable, although there are a couple of problems.
At the beginning of the show, the historian who introduces it is very hard to understand, partly because he’s drowned out by the orchestra. That problem is largely rectified at the beginning of Act Two, mostly because the orchestra isn’t playing as much.
In addition, the lyrics to the opening number are very hard to hear.
As in most plays, the second act seems to be missing life at times. But it’s not dead yet.
One of the highlights of the second act is a song by the Lady of the Lake, complaining that her part has been forgotten.
Rott and Honerman also turn in a memorable performance as Rott bemoans the fact that “I’m All Alone” while Honerman, as his loyal servant, stands sadly next to him, not believing what he’s hearing.
With his booming voice and commanding presence, Rott makes a perfect king — even though his quest is ridiculous. In the first half of the show, we see a character hoist a chalice, and it’s not the Stanley Cup. In the second half of the show, the goal becomes staging a Broadway show.
Weseloh does a nice job with a comedic British accent.
Matthew Harmel is also good as the Black Knight and Dennis, who is originally mistaken for an old woman.
Probably the most valuable cast member is Balsarini, who excels in a variety of roles, speaking Scottish and French. He is simply hilarious as the French taunter who is not frightened of Arthur’s knights, saying to one man, “Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries.”
“Monty Python’s Spamalot” includes some swearing. But while the show includes the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch, it, thankfully, has no F-bombs.