The All-School Musical is BACK! The Red & Black spoke with the cast and crew ahead of the show to learn more about the process and their experiences. (Photo by Courtesy of Mr. Browning)
The All-School Musical is BACK! The Red & Black spoke with the cast and crew ahead of the show to learn more about the process and their experiences.

Photo by Courtesy of Mr. Browning

The All-School Musical is BACK with Monty Python’s SPAMALOT

February 9, 2023

We are bringing live musical theatre back to our high school, that’s right this year’s production is Monty Python’s Spamalot! This year’s musical is a hilarious retelling of the legend of King Arthur and his knights of the round table including French taunters, an adorable killer rabbit, cans of spam, and so much more. The show opens on February 9th at 7pm in our high school auditorium. Additional showtimes are Friday the 10th, and Saturday the 11th at 7pm! The Red & Black sat down with the leads of the musical, members of the pit orchestra, stage and tech crew, to give you the inside scoop on all things spammy! There are so many parts that work together to create the kind of musical magic the audience gets to experience on opening night, and I am here to give you a peek behind the curtain so, let’s dive right in!

The Cast Tells All

Ava Weir and David Reyes during dress rehearsal as Lancelot and Herbert in Spamalot.

Ava Weir and David Reyes during dress rehearsal as Lancelot and Herbert in Spamalot.

I was lucky enough to spend time with members of the cast of the upcoming production of Spamalot. For many of the cast members this is their first show at the high school. It can be bittersweet for the seniors as it will be their first and last musical. However, they agreed it is so worth it to be making music, dancing, and laughing together with such an incredible cast.

The cast said this year’s show has fantastic music, funny characters and an entertaining story guaranteed to make you laugh and keep you on your toes with its ridiculous jokes. This show is unlike anything the high school has done before, there is something for everyone in this show. All the incredible people involved worked so hard to make this musical come to life. If you want a laugh, you should see Spamalot, you won’t be disappointed. One of the cast’s favorite songs from the show include “His name is Lancelot” and their favorite scene includes the French “taunters”. Make sure to look out for those when you watch the show! When asked about fun memories from rehearsals, the cast recalled jokes with the directors, referring to the show as Spammy Whammy, random jokes and many, many laughs.

I spoke with the show’s main leads including the Lady of the Lake played by Ethan Moraitakis (junior), King Arthur played by Elliot Richards (senior), his trusting partner Patsy played by Jenna White (senior) and his knights of the Round Table; Sir Robin played by Abby Werner (junior) Sir Lancelot played by Ava Weir (junior), Sir Galahad played by Davis Reyes (junior) and Sir Bedevere played by Keirsten Schafer (freshman). Here are some messages they had for you:

Ethan says, “We have an amazing cast full of incredibly talented and absolutely hilarious people and it’s totally worth your time to come see Spamalot. So many people worked so hard to get this show running: the carpentry CTE class built the set, Mr. Frizalone and his art classes painted it, media arts kids made the promotional art poster, and Mr. Browning, Mr. Reich, Mrs. Sweda, and Mr. Zarchy have been working tirelessly to help us in our efforts to make this the best comeback ever!”

Elliot says, “Spamalot is fun for everyone, and if you want to see cans of Spam, French taunters, and an adorable killer rabbit, come and see it!”

Jenna says, “I am beyond grateful to have this opportunity to perform in this musical. Even though it is my first and last one in high school, these memories will stay with me forever! Huge shout out to Mr. Reich, Ms. Sweda, and of course, Mr. Browning, for making this all possible!”

“You won’t be disappointed!”

— David Reyes

Abby is excited to play a character who says some of her absolute favorite and most iconic lines from the original Monty Python film! “Spamalot is a hilarious show unlike any other! There are hidden inside jokes with references at the most random places, and it’s a lighthearted, fun show! The music is excellent, the characters are great, and the story takes you on a fun adventure that you won’t forget! Be prepared to not only watch a fun show, but to be a part of the story too.”

Ava says, “If people really want a laugh, they should come see Spamalot. There’s something for everyone within the show. There are so many different kinds of jokes for people to laugh at. It’s really just overall a good time and I’m so happy to be a part of it!”

David says, “We have such an amazing and talented cast! Come and see what we’ve worked so hard to do to get this show at its best, you won’t be disappointed!”

Keirsten says, “This experience has been beyond amazing, and I’d love to thank all of our teachers, pit orchestra members, and tech/ stage crew who have been working so hard to help us put on this show. We couldn’t do it without you!”

What’s a Musical without Music?

The Pit Orchestra, led by Mr. Zarchy, work as long as the cast to make Spamalot an amazing show.

I spoke to members of the pit orchestra, including our own Mr. Mahr of the PMHS Music Department. The pit works tirelessly to accompany the stars on the stage. The consensus among the pit is all the time and hard work they put in is so worth it and the best part is when you experience the final product coming together with the cast and crew. For the pit, being a part of the first musical since the pandemic has been an amazing experience. Although there are always going to be some bumps in the road coming back, it has been so fun to make music with others again.

They are looking forward to a successful show! Some of the pit’s favorite songs are the Knights of the Round Table and His Name is Lancelot! One of Mr. Mahr’s favorite parts is Sir. Robin’s reaction to being told him and the knights must put on a Broadway musical.

For any musicians considering joining the pit orchestra in the future here is some advice: members of the pit recommend practice, practice, practice! But also pace yourself and do your best. Mr. Mahr said that the director of the pit, Mr. Zarchy, are open to taking people into the pit if you are comfortable with the music. If you work hard to practice and familiarize yourself with the music, you will do great! So, when the time comes to audition, audition! It is such a fun, amazing and rewarding experience that you don’t want to miss.

Stage & Tech Crew are Spamalot’s Hidden Heroes Behind the Curtain

Do you ever wonder how the magic of a musical happens? The answer is our amazing tech and stage crew. There are many moving parts that make this magic come to life. The media arts students created the show’s promotional poster, the CTE construction class built the set for the production, and Mr. Frizalone along with his students painted it!

To see what goes on behind the curtain, I spoke to members of the stage crew and the stage manager of Spamalot, Mr. Wenzek. The jobs of the crew include set changes, overseeing props, helping with costume changes, assisting the actors however much may be needed, and overall making sure everything goes smoothly.

Lighting the stage and actors to set the right mood of the show is the responsibility of the tech crew. The lighting manager explained that tech is responsible for managing the lighting, executing lighting cues and effects, as well as working with the sound system.

Members of the crew said they were drawn to join because they want to have fun and help with the musical and work with their friends involved in other parts of the show. For anyone considering joining crew in the future should know that it is such a cool experience to be a part of the crew. It is a commitment that calls for hard work; all the work is worth it. You will have some of the best times of your high school career and become a part of the family backstage.

The crew is looking forward to seeing the excitement on people’s faces when they see the show. They all agree that Spamalot is such a funny show that keeps the crew laughing in the wings and up in the booth. The crew wishes luck to all the performers and can’t wait for opening night!

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