By Stephanie Choate
Ocotober 17th, 2013
Normally a stressful time, the last week of rehearsals in Champlain Valley Union High School Theatre’s fall production have been full of coconut-clapping, Ni-saying ridiculousness.
British cult classic Monty Python and the Holy Grail is coming to the Champlain Valley Union High School stage this week in “Spamalot”—a musical billed as “lovingly ripped off from the motion picture.”
“Rehearsals have been lots of fun and silliness, because it is just a really ridiculously funny show,” CVU Theatre Director Candy Padula said.
CVU’s version will be one of the first performances in Vermont, since the rights to the Broadway show just became available in September.
“As soon as I heard many years ago that ‘Spamalot’ was created as a musical on Broadway, I knew I would be doing it as soon as it was available,” Padula said.
Thirty-eight actors, 20 crew members and eight band members have entered the final week of rehearsals, perfecting the performance before opening night on Oct. 25.
Padula said many of her students are familiar with the 1975 movie.
“I’m always amazed at how every age group seems to know this movie,” she said. “The lines of this movie are just quoted all the time. I certainly have been a fan of this movie.”
For those who aren’t familiar with the silly classic, Padula laid out the plot.
“It is the comical story of King Arthur’s quest for the Holy Grail,” Padula said. “He assembles a group of knights, his knights of the round table. As they are searching for the Grail, they come upon many obstacles, many humorous obstacles.”
Freshman Zachary Varricchione—who has been involved in theater since he was six—landed the role of Sir Galahad, one of King Arthur’s knights who starts out as the mud miner, Dennis, who is distinctly unimpressed with the king.
“I’ve never really been in a musical this comedic before,” he said. “It’s a very funny show with lots of jokes that I think a lot of people will get and like.”
Williston senior Zoey LaChance plays one of the Lady of the Lake’s attendants.
“The play is really fun for both the performers and the audience,” she said. “It’s absolutely absurd. There’s part of it where we just start laughing in rehearsals because it’s so unlike anything we’ve ever done before.”
Padula added that the theater program “reeled in” a couple of the play’s more outrageous parts, making it family-friendly.
Tickets are on sale now at the school store during lunch hours and online at www.cvuhs.org.