MANCHESTER, NH — Pop quiz: What rhymes with Camelot and is as delightfully tasteless, at times, as canned Spam?
If you said “Spamalot,” then not only are you correct, but you’ve also named the irreverent musical comedy that is about to take the Monty Python-loving Palace Theatre audience by storm.
The show, which opens Oct. 19 and runs through Nov. 10 is a medieval mash-up of musical numbers, pratfalls, pithy dialogue and delightful humor, led by Sir Robin, played by Iñaki Agustin, who is returning to the Palace for his seventh performance.
Agustin says his best advice to audiences is to bring your funny bones.
“Be prepared to laugh and be prepared for absurdity, hijinks, hilarity — Spamalot combines your more quintessential golden-age Broadway with punny comedy, wordplay and physical comedy. It has something for everyone,” Agustin says.
In reviewing a video from the Palace’s 2014 version of the Tony Award-winning musical, Agustin noticed there was no one in the audience not laughing.
“Big laughs, small laughs — and a lot of spectacle to it — high-belting songs, show girls and Knights of the Round Table, all dancing – you get a little bit of everything with this show,” Agustin says. “It’s definitely PG-13, so maybe not something for the whole family, but for a teenager, it’s silly fun.”
Also appearing in this year’s production is Jason Long, making his fourth appearance at the Palace after wrapping up with the cast of Beauty and the Beast, as Cogsworth.
“I get to play every goofy part, from the historian, to Not Dead Fred — an old decrepit dancing almost dead guy — and Prince Herbert,” says Long. “For the uninitiated, I’d just say the biggest thing is just not to get caught up in the fact that it’s British humor. Some say they don’t understand British humor, but it’s really a tribute — and true to — Monty Python and the Holy Grail, with an American spin.”
Agustin says playing the Palace never gets old for him, especially when it involves such a colorful and high-spirited production that engages the audience, as Spamalot does.
“As actors, working at the Palace is a dream come true for us; it’s our second home. Whenever I leave New York and come to the Palace for a show it’s like going to grandma’s house and having the time of your life for six weeks,” Agustin says.
Even though he’s been through the paces of Spamalot before, this is much more than just another opening, another show.
“That’s because it’s different people, and the cast gets better every time. Sometimes it’s more challenging because you have new cast members to work with, so the jokes and interactions change, but that’s theater for you — every single night feels like a different show, because the energy changes based on the audience,” Agustin says.
Both Agustin and Long agree on their favorite number in the show, “You Won’t Succeed on Broadway,” which is sure to be a hit with the audience.
“I won’t give away the joke, but it’s a great mash-up of Broadway cliches, and (Artistic Director) Carl Rajotte always come up with something fresh,” Agustin says.
“It’s definitely a show-stopper, although this show has so many show-stoppers in it, it’s hard to choose. Every song in the show is very technical, there’s a lot of dancing in the show, especially for a comedy,” Long says.
And of course, other favorite numbers for both actors include “Knights of the Round Table” and “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life,” a “beautiful classic Broadway tap number with acid humor,” says Agustin, “but it always has people singing along and leaving the theater humming a happy tune.”
A show like Spamalot exists because human beings need to escape every once in a while by immersing themselves in pure entertainment, Agustin says.
“And this is entertainment in its perfect form, yet it doesn’t shy away from having a message — and that is, you have to find within yourself what makes you happy, and your purpose in life. So yes, there’s a little moral to the story,” Agustin says. “Always look on bright side of life. If your having any troubles, laughter is still the best medicine.”
Monty Python’s Spamalot is playing Oct. 19 – Nov. 10 at the Palace Theatre, 80 Hanover St. Tickets: Adults: $39-46 Children (6-12): $25. Call (603) 668-5588 for the best seat in the house, or book your tickets online at Palacetheatre.org.
Show dates and times
Friday October 19, 2018 7:30 p.m.
Saturday October 20, 2018 7:30 p.m.
Saturday October 20, 2018 2 p.m.
Sunday October 21, 2018 2 p.m.
Friday October 26, 2018 7:30 p.m.
Saturday October 27, 2018 7:30 p.m.
Saturday October 27, 2018 2 p.m.
Sunday October 28, 2018 5 p.m.
Sunday October 28, 2018 12 p.m.
Friday November 2, 2018 7:30 p.m.
Saturday November 3, 2018 2 p.m.
Saturday November 3, 2018 7:30 p.m.
Sunday November 4, 2018 5 p.m.
Sunday November 4, 2018 12 p.m.
Thursday November 8, 2018 7:30 p.m.
Friday November 9, 2018 7:30 p.m.
Saturday November 10, 2018 7:30 p.m.
Saturday November 10, 2018 2 p.m.