Spamalot the musical

Rough weather cost performance valuable rehearsal time

By Freeman Spray, Webmaster and Copy Editor

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  • Arms outstretched, junior Noah Stussie stands front and center during the finale of his song "You Won't Succeed on Broadway if You Don't Have Any Jews," during the winter musical, Monty Python's Spamalot, on Jan. 25.

  • In harmony, senior Tiffany Smith and junior Jack Malin stand side by side during the finale of the winter musical, Spamalot on Jan. 25. The wedding scene closed out the show for the last time and wrapped up the story of King Arthur and his search for the Holy Grail.

  • Holding a torch, junior Noah Stussie rides an imaginary horse during the winter musical, Monty Python's Spamalot on Jan. 25. Stussie was a knight of the round table and accompanied King Arthur on his quest to find the Holy Grail.

  • Expressional, senior Jerod Cote gets carried off stage by senior Davis Reed during the winter musical, Spamalot. Cote and Reed play French mimes during the "Trojan Bunny" scene along with Napoleon Bonaparte and various French artists.

  • Standing tall, senior Simon Wenger screams "Ni!" at the knights of the round table while in the forest during the winter musical, Spamalot, on Jan. 25. Wenger plays one of the "Knights Who Say Ni" and demands a shrubbery from the round table knights who want safe passage through the forest.

  • Grinning, senior Julian Weslander and junior Jack Malin dance during the song "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life," during the winter musical, Spamalot on Jan. 25. Malin played King Arthur and Weslander played Arthur's trusty servant. The two travelled far and wide in search of the Holy Grail for two almost sold-out nights, making Spamalot the highest attended musical in five years.

  • Playing the part, senior TIffani Smith holds onto junior Jack Malin in the winter production of Spamalot. Smith played the character Lady of the Lake while Malin played King Arthur. "It’s was a lot of hard work and a big time commitment. You really had to balance your time out and priorities always came first," Smith said. "I really enjoyed getting to know the cast. Most people I didn’t really have classes or activities with so I made lots of new friends."

  • Stealing the spotlight, senior Tiffany Smith sings a solo during the song "Knights of the Round Table," at the winter musical, Spamalot, on Jan. 25. Smith played "The Lady of the Lake" and was featured in several musical numbers.

  • Senior Keaton Hoy embraces his sexuality during the musical number "Lancealot" featured in the winter musical, Spamalot on Jan. 25. Hoy falls in love with junior Liam Sheely's character, "Herbert" after finding him trapped in a tower and slaughtering the guests and guards at the castle.

  • Being praised by his trustworthy adversaries, junior Jack Malin urges his men to travel to Camelot during the winter musical, Spamalot on Jan. 25. The cast missed several days of rehearsals due to snow and below freezing temperatures but still managed to put on a royal performance.

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.”