Spamalot the musical

Rough weather cost performance valuable rehearsal time

By Freeman Spray, Webmaster and Copy Editor

Riding forth from Camelot, a massive cast practiced tirelessly to put together Monty Python’s Spamalot.

The popular musical comedy based on the even more popular movie by Monty Python finally came to LHS with performances Jan. 26 and 27.

“Everything presents unique challenges,” said senior Julian Weslander, who played Patsy, King Arthur’s assistant. “Especially since it’s just so much more out there and silly than a lot of the other plays we’ve done.”

The play is renowned for its absurd humor and crazy tempo.

“It’s just pure unadulterated ridiculousness and fun,” director Jamie Johnson said. “The world is kind of wild right now, and I think that people want to escape and look on the bright side, so I think that is probably one of the biggest selling points for us.”

Auditions for the performance attracted all manner of folk, from veteran actors to choir champions to Monty Python fans.

“There are a lot of freshmen who are interested in doing theater, which is exciting,” Weslander said. “I really like seeing a lot of new faces.”

Among this diverse group was an extensive pit orchestra.

“I had never done pit before,” sophomore flutist Grace Farney said. “It was a really cool experience.”

The show is complex, featuring many side characters, most of which have a song of their own. The amount of choreography to memorize was enough to challenge the most experienced of performers.

“We’ve had to learn lots of choreography that has stretched most of our abilities, but it’s also been very fun,” senior Lex Moulton, who played the knight Sir Galahad, said. “Our choreographer Barb has made it more than manageable for us.”

Despite the large cast, some actors had to portray four or five characters, so enormous was the number of individual parts. Cast members attributed the success of the show to the adaptability of these actors.

“There are lots of parts in the show with lots of cast members, and that’s one of the strengths of the show,” Moulton said. “There’s lots of different people having big featured moments, so you get to see a lot of the talent.”

The cast had a full wardrobe of extravagant costumes to match their wacky performances. Usually, costumes are made by the cast or brought from home, but for this show, they decided to rent. They got almost all of them from a school in Wisconsin.

“We try to cut costs any way we can, but with this, knight costumes are so specific,” Johnson said. “There’s no way to just be like, ‘Oh you can wear sweatpants and a T-shirt and you’re King Arthur.’ ’’

Renting costumes for the first time was difficult, but far more challenging was the loss of two days worth of practice due to the weather-related school cancellations. They lost a lot of prep time, forcing them to cancel the first performance.

“I don’t know that I’ve ever been this anxious for a show in honestly my entire professional life,” Johnson said. “There’s so many moving parts and the kids just didn’t have as much rehearsal as I wanted them to. But they pulled it out, and I was really impressed.”