It's a silly place, but you should go to Spamalot | Theater Review | Chicago Reader

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It's a silly place, but you should go to Spamalot

Your quest for a comedy master class ends at the Mercury Theater.


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Whether or not you're familiar with the beloved British humor of the Monty Python universe, Spamalot is guaranteed to be a rollicking good time. Adapted from the film Monty Python and the Holy Grail, the musical version follows King Arthur in his quest to assemble the Knights of the Round Table and find the Holy Grail, and the plot quickly takes a hard left turn into silly "fisch-schlapping" madness.

Bawdy, yet never offensive, this jolly show is a comedy master class, combining wit, satire, absurd non sequiturs, lowbrow humor, slapstick, corny puns, and impeccable comic timing into a dizzying madcap great evening. The fantastically talented ensemble dazzles with sharp dance numbers and ridiculous comedy sequences that make you laugh until your belly hurts. Jonah D. Winston plays a lovably daft King Arthur, attended by his loyal and hilarious manservant Patsy, played by Greg Foster. Their chemistry in the audience favorite "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life" (originally introduced in Monty Python's The Life of Brian) is irresistible. Meghan Murphy brings down the house as the Lady of the Lake, impressively satirizing and executing hoary vocal musical theater tropes with aplomb in "The Song That Goes Like This."

Python fans will delight in the familiar jokes, the amazing set by scenic designer Angela Weber Miller, and the outrageous costumes by designer Tim Hatley. Director L. Walter Stearns stages numbers like "I Am Not Dead Yet" masterfully. Karl Hamilton, Adam Fane, and David Sajewich shine in an over-the-top riotous scene as Sir Lancelot, Herbert, and Herbert's Father, respectively.  v

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