The cast of ‘Spamalot’ takes the Weathervane stage this month
by Melanie Anderson
Fans of “Monty Python” will want to clear their calendars during the month of June. King Arthur, his trusty servant Patsy and his colorful Knights of the Round Table will be riding into Akron as the musical comedy hits the stage at Weathervane Playhouse.
Inspired by the 1975 cult classic film, “Monty Python and the Holy Grail,” Spamalot brings back the irreverent humor, familiar scenes and hilarious characters audiences know and love. From the Knights who say “Ni” to the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch, the musical also weaves in new twists to the original tale, as well as hilarious new dance numbers and songs. The original production has been a notable success, having received 14 Tony Award nominations and having been performed in over 25 countries.
Bringing the musical to Akron has been an exciting opportunity for the cast and crew at the Weathervane Playhouse. Many of the cast and crew are already well acquainted with the source material, making the process that much more exciting.
“Live theater is so much better than movies because you see actual people from the area showcasing their talents,” Director Dave Stebbins said. This is his second time directing the musical. “[These are] people you know and live next to, and yet they have a lot of talent and it’s a chance for people to sort of break loose and laugh and have a fun time.”
For Don Bernardo, a huge Monty Python fan, this is his third time to play the role of King Arthur alongside Patsy, portrayed by Brian Diehl. Included is a large and talented cast, many of whom are theater or vocal performance majors from nearby universities. Backstage, costumers, builders, musicians and others from the community are working together to make this an outstanding production.
Bringing a well-known musical to the area is a wonderful opportunity for the community to get involved in an exciting event and experience the talent the Akron area has to offer.
Stebbins said audiences should expect to laugh.
“It’s certainly not anything profound,” he said. “It’s a funny show — a lot of laughter, a lot of crazy, silly things just like Monty Python always was.”
Melanie Anderson is an aspiring writer and a professional wanderer. Her summer goals include attending plays and symphonies, starting work on her novel and adopting a cat.
(Featured photo by Aimee Lambes)