Medieval Musical Mania: SPAMALOT at Kelsey Theatre

by Wren Workman

SPAMALOT is “A new musical lovingly ripped off from the motion picture Monty Python and the Holy Grail” and every ounce of that is true. Like all things Monty Python, it is equally and simultaneously absurd pop culture references and just outright funny. This is a thoroughly good show for most ages (while cursing is minimal, quite a few jokes would be lost on children) and definitely a good choice for anyone looking to have a good night out at the theater.

The lighting (M. Kitty Getlik) in the Kelsey Theatre production of SPAMALOT was fantastic, and the use of the space was extremely well done asused in the choreography (Jane Coult). The sound was a character all its own, as was the orchestral pit (Laurie Gougher). The set itself was rather impressive (Jeff Cantor) and was beautifully crafted (Amy Bessellieu). The production team in its entirety earned every bit of praise and more, as it really came together well and showed strong. Also, the newspaper programs are genius and amazing.

John M. Maurer did a great job bringing together this cast and creating such a beautiful take on SPAMALOT. I look forward to seeing his work as a director again in the future.

Almost everyone in the show played double duty at least once in the show, and everyone did a very good job at that, individual praise and criticism aside, the show looked fantastic throughout.

Members of the cast of SPAMALOT at
Kelsey Theatre.

Tom Bessellieu (The Historian) has perfect timing, and his lines always seemed to come out at the exact right moment for maximum laughter in the audience. Paul Phalen (Prince Herbert) was spry and funny as the nearly dead man and Herbert however his singing was somewhat odd, his elfin voice worked for his characters but did not match up with his songs. Dan Slothower was mysterious as well as intimidating as Tim the Enchanter. Rob Gougher (Patsy) could have told an entirely different story on his face without speaking and the audience would have been able to follow along, Gougher stole quite a few scenes because of this. John Glace (Bors) did a great job for someone so young. Scott Karlin (Black Knight) had a slightly stilted fight scene, that still came off as laughing-so-hard-I-can’t-breathe and can be forgiven for that.

Candace Chmielewski, Jen DeFilippi, Dominique Shaw, Sally Page (Laker Girls) were all fantastic dancers and hilarious in all of their scenes on stage. Their off stage counter parts Liz Lackey and Jennifer Weiner (Supplemental Vocalists) also had beautiful voices that I was able to pick out in ensemble numbers. Mimi Francis (Lady of the Lake) did every Diva proud, her voice was strong in most numbers, but was absolutely stellar in Diva’s Lament.

Stuart Myles (King Arthur) was hilarious and perfectly cast for that reason. His voice wavered slightly when singing but his raw charisma and comedic timing more than made up for it. He has a smile that seems regal, and he used it very well to have an actual Arthurian look on stage. His knights were all his equals as well. Peter Bisgaier (Bedevere) was funny, and had a very expressive face that rivaled Gougher. Kevin Palardy (Lancelot) was a personal favorite amongst the knights for me, pulling off both a lovable brute and a true faerie that could outshine Navi any day. Sean Downing (Galahad) was very strong all around in the show and performed my favorite duet in the show. Justin Derry (Robin) bravely ran away, tapped and sang his heart out. Derry was another big scene stealer in SPAMALOT and was by and far the strongest dancer (and had quite a few eclectic dance moves).

SPAMALOT is everything you expect it to be and so much more, and if you fail to see it while you have the chance you may just have to go out searching for a shrubbery.

Book and Lyrics by: Eric Idle
Music By: John Du Prez
Director: John M. Maurer
Producers: John M. Maurer, Diana C. Maurer, Dan Maurer
Music Director: Laurie Gougher
Choreographer: Jane Coult
November 15 – December 1 , 2013
Maurer Productions OnStage at
Kelsey Theatre
Mercer County Community College


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1 comment

Wren Workman November 20, 2013 - 8:28 pm

John M. Maurer did a great job bringing together this cast and creating such a beautiful take on SPAMALOT. I look forward to seeing his work as a director again in the future.


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