© Dave Mathieson - Cumberland News Now
Andrew Melanson (right) plays King Arthur and Dean Trueman plays his trusty sidekick Patsy in Showcase Productions Society staging of Spamalot, which begins its four-night run May 7 at the Susan Taylor Theatre at ARHS. The cast was rehearsing the comedy Wednesday night.
AMHERST – You don’t have to like Spam to love Spamalot.
“Spamalot is an adaptation of Monty Python and the Holy Grail,” said Michelle Hicks, Spamalot director. “It’s the story of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table and their search for the Holy Grail.”
Eighteen cast members from Showcase Productions Society have been rehearsing the comedy twice a week at Amherst Regional High School since January.
“Rehearsals have been a non-stop laugh,” said Hicks. “I don’t think I’ve had more fun doing this in 20 years as I have with this show.”
Anybody familiar with Monty Python knows to expect nonsensical comedy.
“It’s got twists and turns and quirkiness, and it has a lot of improve and a lot of ad-libbing,” said Hicks.
Spamalot originally opened on Broadway in New York in 2005.
Hicks saw the original production on Broadway when it featured Tim Curry as King Arthur, David Hyde Pierce as Sir Robin and Hank Azaria as Sir Lancelot.
“I laughed from beginning to end,” said Hicks. “It was silly. It was pure entertainment, and I tucked it into the back of my mind thinking someday it might be something we could do here.”
Showcase Productions Society stages two shows a year.
“We have one large production in the spring and a production in the fall that’s usually a bit smaller.”
Spamalot runs four nights, from May 7 to 10, at the Susan Taylor Theatre at ARHS.
Showtime is 7:30 p.m.
Showcase Productions Society is run entirely by volunteers and all money raised goes to high school students in the form of bursaries and scholarships.
“We have two $2,000 scholarships a year. One for a student at Amherst Regional High School and one for a high school student in the county,” said Hicks.
Scholarships are awarded to students who are involved in any aspect of the arts, including everything from lighting technicians, stage managers, actors, actresses and students who want to be drama teachers.
“It’s our way of giving back to the performing arts,” said Hicks.