|Katie Beetham, Kieran Martin Murphy|
Photos courtesy Stage West Calgary, John Watson
Saturday, April 25, 2015
The Early Bird (Blog) Review: Stage West Calgary's Production of "Monty Python's Spamalot"
Stage West Calgary presents:
"Monty Python's Spamalot"
The "Early Bird, Before My Official Calgary Herald Review Runs" Reflections On Stage West Calgary's "Spamalot"
(5 out of 5 stars, because it would just be over the top to give it 7...)
"Non-stop Killer Bunny"
"Such a hilarious show!"
"Laughed till I cried"
"Hilarious and great performances"
"Completely on point!"
"When word gets out about @StageWestCgy's #Spamalot you'll need to buy your tickets from scalpers!"
Those are just a few of the Tweets after the media night showing of the latest production over at Stage West Calgary, "Monty Python's Spamalot". Having done official and unofficial reviews for this facility since about 2009, I can't ever recall a show generating so much enthusiasm after a performance. And this from primarily grizzled, jaded media people!!
Well, that last comment in quotation marks probably says it best, and not just because that was my own Tweet. This is about as perfect a performance you will see, with a cast that glimmers brighter than King Arthur's chainmail leggings.
I understand that the director is typically tasked to cast, and in this case, J. Sean Elliott has outdone himself. This production is every bit as good (I think even better) as the version I caught in the Grail Theatre, which you can read about in the preview feature and interview that ran yesterday, with Elliott and choreographer Phil Nero.
Nero as well has outdone himself with this effort, which speaks volumes given his past work at Stage West (Fiddler On The Roof, and the award-winning Chicago). Musical Director Konrad Pluta even gets some stage time here in this, when he isn't ensuring the exemplary sonic efforts of his house band.
I had better start leaving descriptions and kudos and keen reviewer-ly observations out so that I have something left for my official Calgary Herald review.
Let's just say that the cast is perhaps the best yet, which I know, I say for just about every show here, but this one really is! This time Stage West has set the bar so high that it's like Excalibur has been placed on a rooftop tower above the facility, if you can understand that what I wanted to do there was make a witty comparison between the legendary sword, and a raised bar.
Perhaps I need to work a bit more on that for the next review...
As reluctant as I am to single out individual actors, the leads (Kieran Martin Murphy as King Arthur, and Katie Beetham as The Lady Of The Lake) are at the top of their games in this outing. But everyone else has brought their own best game as well.
I'll have a link here when the Herald review runs, but for now, it is YOU that had better run, gallop or sprint over to Stage West Calgary, for this exceptional production of "Monty Python's Spamalot"!