A longtime fan of Monty Python, Bob Franklin was thrilled to be selected to direct “Spamalot” at Aiken Community Theatre. The season-ending musical written by members of the comedy troupe covers a variety of material from the Monty Python catalogue, including “Life of Brian” and “Search for the Holy Grail.”
“As with any Monty Python show, audiences must deal with the unexpected in a production that makes fun of everything from Broadway musicals and the plague to religions, divas and more,” Franklin said. “Audiences can expect to laugh until they cry. In fact, they may be laughing so hard that they miss the very next comedic bit, but that’s OK. They will enjoy everything they see and hear.”
“Spamalot” retells the legend of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table and features a group of beautiful showgirls, cows, killer rabbits and so much more. The 2005 Broadway production won three Tony Awards, including Best Musical and was followed by two successful West End runs.
Even though Franklin is a huge Monty Python fan, the show still isn’t his usual theatrical endeavor. He tends to direct shows that make audiences think, such as “Inherit the Wind,” “On Golden Pond,” “Frost/Nixon,” “To Kill a Mockingbird” and “Of Mice and Men.”
“Directing this show has called for very different directorial skills. The characters are all caricatures, and the sheer number of technical and musical and dancing requirements have been challenging,” he said. “I have been blessed to be able to work with an extraordinarily talented and dedicated cast and crew who have brought me great joy as a director.
“I believe that audiences will be amazed at the talent gathered for this production, from cast to musical direction (David Brown) to choreography (Anna Lewis) to costuming (Beth Ansede) to set design (Duane Berning) to props (R. J. Wall and others) to lighting (Cory Herbst) to sound (Chris Martino) and to stage management (Lisa Fountain),” Franklin said. “It has been a joy to trust in professionals.”
“Spamalot” performances are at 7:30 p.m. May 19, 20, 25, 26, 27 and 2 p.m. May 21 at the Amentum Center for the Performing Arts, 126 Newberry St. SW. Tickets are $25 for adults, $20 for students/seniors an $17 for children. For more information or to purchase tickets, call 803-648-1438 or visit AikenCommunityTheatre.org.
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