Arts and Entertainment

Kentlake’s sacred quest for the Holy Grail in ‘Spamalot’

Austin Fowler who plays Sir Galahad, cries out as Mackenzie Visser, who plays the Lady of the Lake, stares at the killer rabbit’s nasty big pointy teeth.  - TJ Martinell, The Reporter
Austin Fowler who plays Sir Galahad, cries out as Mackenzie Visser, who plays the Lady of the Lake, stares at the killer rabbit’s nasty big pointy teeth.
— image credit: TJ Martinell, The Reporter

Editor’s note: This article is written in a tone similar to the material the musical is based on.

Pam Cressey is not dead yet. In fact, she’s getting better.

And she has Monty Python’s Spamalot to thank for that. Of course, not literally. It didn’t actually “save” her in the medical or spiritual sense, naturally.

But it was the Broadway-adaptation of Monty Python and the Holy Grail’s irreverent sense of humor, its finely tuned wit, that helped her through several hard times as the Kentlake Drama director fought and finally vanquished pancreatic cancer. And now Kentlake Drama will have the chance to provide such magical mirth through their production of “Spamalot” in order to give the people of Kent and Covington under considerable economic stress in this period of history an example.

Much like King Arthur in his search for the Holy Grail, Cressey was determined to be among the first teachers to get the sacred rights to “Spamalot” after she saw it in 2009. Those sacred rights she ultimately obtained in May of the year of our Lord 2012 while she was in New York.

That’s New York City, by the way, not New York State, in case of any confusion which might have arisen. Of course, there are five boroughs in NYC, so this isn’t entirely accurate, either. I mean, if we didn’t want to generalize and strove to be hyper specific we would want to name the actual street and address.

Editor’s note: We apologize for the fault in the writing. The writer responsible for this story has been sacked.

From there, the quest to put the production on stage began almost immediately thereafter. As the musical involved both disco and tap dancing, the students had to learn the intricacies of the art beginning in July, which continued up until the school year started. The first day of class was a workshop for the production, and on the second day auditions were held.

And on the third day the women went to the tomb, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed.

Regional editor’s note: We apologize again for the fault in the writing. The editor responsible for sacking the writer who had just been sacked has now been sacked.

According to testimony from Cressey, imparted to this writer, the quest to produce “Spamalot” hit several severe obstacles, trials and tribulations that served to test the character of both Cressey and the students and other hard working members of the production. The first was the overwhelming number of massive props which had to be constructed. Many of them, such as the large wooden rabbit, are huge in size but appear for a narrow window of time in the actual musical.

Now, supposing they built a large wooden badger instead...

Editor’s note: GET ON WITH IT!

Oh, right. Anyways, there are some lovely sets, including a castle, towers, mud, and the Holy Grail which, according to Cressey, is the size of China. That does not include the island of Taiwan, though.

“This is the most prop laden show I’ve ever seen,” Cressey declared.

Another test of patience and forbearance came about when she discovered, much to her amazement, that the majority of the drama student populace were not familiar with “Monty Python and the Holy Grail.” Not only did this inhibit their understanding of how to best tailor their performances, but it also robbed them of much laughter which young adults should not be deprived of.

Indeed, many of them had not even had the pleasure of viewing the glorious motion picture until she finally screened it for them. Fortunately, this proved to be a fine antidote and the quality of their performances increased exponentially, according to Cressey.

“They are dead pan serious now,” she said. “They believe it to be true.”

There were also moments which called for ingenuity and creativity of the highest order. Unable to use pyrotechnics, which involves the production of fire without flint or tinder, the Enchanter — there are some who call him………Tim — flies in using a leaf blower.

There will be a pre-musical trial of a suspected witch in the lobby. The suspected witch will be thrown into Lake Sawyer after the show after it is proven she weighs the same as a duck and is therefore made of wood.

The performance of Spamalot will begin at precisely 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 5. No earlier. No later. 7 p.m. is the time it shall start, and the number of the starting time shall be 7 p.m.

8 p.m. shall thou not come, neither come at 6 p.m., except that thou proceed to stay until 7 p.m.

9 p.m. is right out!

Regional editor: GET ON WITH IT ALREADY!!

All right! Anyways, on to the cast, which is a wonderful cast, full of amazing talent and commendable acting. Ascending to the throne of Camelot (it’s only a model) is Shawn Moynihan as Arthur, king of the Britons. Austin Tinnel plays Sir Robin the not-quite-so-brave-as-Sir-Lancelot, a guard and Brother Maynard. Devin Bovee is Sir Lancelot the brave, the French Taunter, the Knight of Ni and Tim the Enchanter.

Playing the role of King Arthur’s faithful servant Patsy is Mitchell Hillyard. Austin Fowler is Sir Galahad the pure, Prince Herbert’s Father and the Black Knight. Kyle Apo is Sir Bedevere, Dennis Galahad’s mother, Concorde and Sir Lancelot’s faithful servant. Mackenzie Visser is the Lady of the Lake, her arm clad Excalibur from the bosom of the water, signifying the divine ordination that Arthur was to carry Excalibur — that is why he’s your king!

The Laker Girls are Ali Beliveau, Amanda Fraser, Bannysa La Torre, Julia Payment, Olivia Powers and Taylor Harris.

Parker Kinder is the historian, not dead Fred, a French Guard, a Minstrel, Prince Herbert and a dancing nun.

And then there is the aptly named sir-not-appearing-in-this-musical.

The Kentlake Performing Arts Center is located at 21401 Southeast 300th Street, Kent, which should be no more than a swallow’s flight away.

That’s an unladen swallow, naturally, a European swallow by default. African swallows could make the distance, I’m sure, but they aren’t known to migrate in a temperate zone like ours, unless of course you include the rain forest in the Olympic mountains.

I mean, if supposing we had two African swallows make the journey together….

Editor’s note: Enough!



We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

Read the Oct 21
Green Edition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Browse the archives.

Friends to Follow

View All Updates