Words by: Deina Ida Blancaflor
Photos by: Waldo Katigbak
You may or may not have heard of Monty Python, a British comedy group responsible for numerous award-winning shows back in the 90s. Nonetheless, their Tony awards-adorned musical, Spamalot will premiere here in Manila, and it’s certainly a must-watch.
Loosely based off of the Arthurian legend, King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, and based on the original movie, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, back in 1975, the Filipino-adapted play directed and co-directed by theater veterans Joel Trinidad and Nicky Trivino respectively have transformed the movie into something even more hysterical than the original.
Starring actress-singer Rachel Alejandro and seasoned stage veterans Carla Guevara-Laforteza and Lorenz Martinez among many others, what’s made the musical even more magical than it is is how this interesting mix of cast members have put their own twists, hearts, and souls into the story, with almost all of them being Monty Python fans themselves.
“I think there are a lot of nerds here in the cast. I think that was one of the things that makes our version stand out,” Dean Rosen who plays Sir Galahad in the production, shares.
“This is truly a collaborative effort. Every single person on this stage contributed something to the silliness that you saw tonight,” Joel Trinidad explains. “That’s what pushed it to the direction that it eventually got to. We just had so much fun along the way, and it’s so nice trying not to be serious for four hours a day,” Reb Atadero, who played multiple roles, one of which as Hebert, gladly adds.
Looking at it, Spamalot features a pretty small cast for an award-winning play. This resulted to actors playing a myriad of roles in one run. However, this did not deter the cast from performing at its best. In fact, they thought of it as a blessing—“every actor’s dream”, as they say—to be able to hone their skills by playing multiple roles, shifting from one personality to another, and getting thrice the exposure one normally gets in a musical.
The play also features sought-after designer Francis Libiran’s works, crafting five gowns exclusively for the show itself. These gowns, worn by The Lady of the Lake (played by both Ms. Alejandro and Guevara-Laforteza alternately), indeed add a different level of majesty not just to the character but to the whole feel of the story.
“Francis captures that quality in every single of his creations,” Trivino explains. Watch out for these breathtaking outfits all throughout the play and be captured by their beauty.
If you’ve seen the movie and you’re debating whether or not to catch this musical-play adaptation, well, decide no more because the play isn’t an exact replica of the film. Cue in Justin Bieber and Miley Cyrus allusions, brave, strong knights in cheerleader outfits, and even a socially relevant Sir Lancelot, and you’ve got yourselves a treat—a night full of laughs and a play that’s one for the books.
The Philippine production of Monty Python’s Spamalot will play on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from July 28 to August 12, 2017, at the Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium, RCBC Plaza in Makati, so make sure to score those tickets at TicketWorld (891-9999) or at Upstart Productions.
Excited to just laugh the night away? Tag someone who you’d want to see this play with!
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