Cappies Review: Performance Above and Beyond in Fairfax

Cappies Review: Performance Above and Beyond in Fairfax

Nico Ochoa and Daniel Williams in Robinson Secondary School’s production of Monty Python’s Spamalot.

Nico Ochoa and Daniel Williams in Robinson Secondary School’s production of Monty Python’s Spamalot. Photo by Rich Condit

When one thinks of the classic tale of King Arthur and his fearsome knights they may think of a dominant and influential army, but all rules can be altered in Camelot. Robinson Secondary School's near-Broadway caliber production of Monty Python's Spamalot takes us to a world of tap dancing townspeople, mermaid-like Ladies of the Lake, and a killer team of not-so knightley knights.

The 14 time Tony nominated musical, Monty Python's Spamalot is a high energy musical comedy that features a book, music and lyrics by Eric Idle, as well as music by John Du Prez. Based upon the hit 1975 film, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Spamalot is an amusing parody of the Arthurian Legend. The story follows the notorious King Arthur and his loyal attendant Patsy on their mighty quest to find the coveted Holy Grail. It's all smooth sailing until hilarious obstacles jump into their path like a taunting team of French guards, abnormally tall Knights Who Say "Ni," and even a deep desire to take part in an extravagant Broadway musical.

After seeing Robinson's Cappie Award winning performance of Pippin last year I had high expectations going into Spamalot, and the players at Robinson Secondary School greatly exceeded them. From the astounding liveliness from every member of the forty-four ensemble, to the ability to milk the comedic moments while maintaining the fight for the Holy Grail, the company of Spamalot created a wildly impressive production.

Leading the knights was Daniel Williams as King Arthur. Williams' smooth speaking voice and mature sovereign quality was not overlooked. With deadpan humor when speaking to the loyal Patsy (Nico Ochoa), and trotting gallups with coconuts rhythms in the background, Williams' portrayal was comically brilliant. Also, Nico Ochoa as Patsy was uproarious. With over-the-top facial expressions, eye catching dance skills, and clear vocals Ochoa proved to be a top performer.

What is better than one Lady of the Lake? Three of them! Robinson took the risk of splitting a singular role into three, but it worked exceptionally well for this rendition. The Ladies of the Lake (Jordan James, Anna Maria Shockey, and Claire Burton) all had their moment to shine in their song, "The Song That Goes Like This," and each captured the mystical aura of her character. Additionally, the camaraderie and added pop culture references by the knights of the round table (Matthew Ross, RJ Pratt, Hasan Crawford, and David Ingle), aided in the creation of an ensemble driven show.

The technical aspects were top notch. The cartoonish set and the credit reel during the remarkable orchestra's overture created a movie-like sentiment. Additionally, in "Come With Me," the beautiful duochrome blue wings perfectly enhanced the dynamic choreography by Maria Gleason and Isabelle Guzzano, along with the sparkling lighting design by Jason Eisen.

Whether one has watched the movie repetitively or if this was your first experience with the tale, Robinson Secondary School's production of Spamalot went above and beyond. With audience members wistfully singing "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life," Spamalot at Robinson Secondary School demonstrates that positivity and loyal friendship can defeat any foe.