Calling all Monty Python fans! This weekend, the Penn State Thespians are channeling their comedic chops for a musical take on a classic comedy.
Spamalot is a musical parody of Monty Python and the Holy Grail that tells a very loose version of the legend of King Arthur. Filled with crude but hilarious humor, physical comedy and show-stopping numbers, the Thespians’ latest musical is an event not to be missed. Valley had the chance to sit in on a dress rehearsal before opening night, and trust us – these Penn Staters delivered.
Senior broadcast journalism major Devon Fields adopts the roles of director and choreographer to round off the Thespians’ performance season. Fields has been involved with Thespians for all eight of his semesters at Penn State, and is making his directorial debut for the organization.
“Spamalot is a very large show,” says Fields. “Anyone that knows me knows I have a huge personality. If anyone is going to take on this huge adventure, it’s going to be me. With this being my senior year, I wanted to end it with a bang and make sure to give this club my all.”
The club has been rehearsing since the end of winter break, with auditions held the first week after the students returned from vacation. Fields described the process as hectic, with occasional overlaps between Thespian shows and managing production logistics.
“The biggest struggle was managing the necessities of the show itself,” says Fields. “For example, handling the costumes and props because there’s a ton of them, versus things that we can cut down or cut completely and making sure it was still a production that honors the work of the Monty Python team.”
But with 35 cast members and a rotating system of 85+ crew hands, the Thespians have successfully overcome the stress to produce a complete musical.
For sophomore and intended film major Adam Joseph Murray, who takes the lead as King Arthur, the humor is the selling point of the show.
“[The show] is ridiculous,” says Murray. “A lot of people are going to laugh during it. They’re going to be like ‘What the hell is going on?’ The show balances a fine line between being ridiculous and also being extremely funny.”
Even when just sitting in on a rehearsal, it was hard to contain laughter. Be prepared for some audience interaction in addition to well-placed nods to the Penn State community.
“In the end, I just hope the audience has a good time,” says Murray. “That’s one of the biggest things I love about theatre – the entertaining part of it. It’s about entertaining people. It’s about having them travel to the Middle Ages for a couple of hours and having fun with it. If just one person comes up to me this weekend and says ‘I really liked it,’ then my job is done.”
Break a leg, Thespians!
What you need to know:
Tickets are on sale all week in the HUB from 10am to 4pm, as well as online here.
Tickets are $4.98 for students, $4.99 for children under 12 and $12 for the general public
Dates/Times: March 26th at 7:30 pm, March 27th and 28th at 7:30 pm, March 28th at 1:30 pm
To top it all off:
Thursday, March 25th – The cast will perform various numbers and scenes from the shows downstairs in the HUB from 11am – 4pm (with special performances by the Penn State Singing Lions, Urban Dance Troupe, Vole and more!)
Friday, March 26th – The cast will perform various numbers and from scenes for SPA’s Noontime Series