Monty Python’s Spamalot – the Tony Award winning musical based on the movie “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” – is coming to Richmond Centerstage next week – January 11 – 13, opening its tour here in the river city, and are we excited.
Spamalot follows King Arthur and his band of men as they search the land for the Holy Grail. Fans of Monty Python will be familiar with some of the classic sketches and scenes in the play version, but traditional theater fans should love all aspects of the performance as well.
Original Python cast member Eric Idle helped develop the original broadway production of Spamalot, and its reception has been fantastic. Though Idle is no longer directly involved, Director Mike Nichols worked with the original production and continues his work with the play as it tours.
Playing the lead role as King Arthur, Arthur Rowan returns for a second tour, bringing laughs to audiences around the country. A life long Monty Python fan, Rowan said the classic movie has translated into a play that’s sure to be loved by everyone, not just fans of the British original. “It takes all the best stuff from the Holy Grail, it adds a sense of broadway flair…” Said Rowan. The performance involves elaborate set pieces, big musical numbers, and even a flying cow or two.
Rowan said its not easy being in the shadow of the massively popular 70′s cult film. “You’ve got to go into knowing you’re going to be compared to the originals – and there’s nothing you can do about it except do the best you can.” Rowan remembers his high school days when quoting Python was not as well received by his peers, but it seems that devotion has paid off. “For all the weird looks I got in high school for liking Monty Python, this has been a kind of redemption story.”
Rowan said the musical numbers are often the biggest hit with audiences, though he has a special place in his heart for a few specific scenes. “Some of the dialogue scenes, like the swallow scene, or when you first meet Dennis and have the political conversation in the mud field – the dialogue just crackles.” Said Rowan, “Every time we get to do that scene, it’s a joy.”
With over 150 performances of Spamalot under his belt, Rowan said he considers this role a kind of benchmark in his career. “30 years from now, I’m gonna look back and still be humbled and grateful that I had the chance to do this.”
Don’t miss your chance to see “Monty Python’s Spamalot” when it comes to Richmond Center Stage next week.
Showtimes are Friday, January 11 at 8pm, Saturday, January 12 at 8pm and Sunday,
January 13 at 2pm.
Tickets begin at $40.00 (plus applicable fees) and are available at the Richmond CenterStage Box Office,