Hudson Players actors take journey to 'Spamalot'

by April Helms | special products editor Published:

Noble quests, coconuts, an eclectic group of knights and more Monty Python-esque humor will invade the Hudson Players' stage in the theater's production of the musical "Spamalot."

Telling the legendary tale of King Arthur as a highly irreverent parody, the "Spamalot" plot is based on the film, "Monty Python and the Holy Grail."

"The first challenge was casting it," said director Dave Stebbins. "We had about 50 people audition, and we cast 21. Everyone who auditioned was very talented; it was a great problem to have."

Stebbins, a Stow resident, said that doing "Spamalot" has attracted "a lot of folks who have never been in a show at Hudson Players."

"Some are driving more than 30 miles to be involved," Stebbins said. "It's a tremendously fun show. I hope the audience leaves smiling. Monty Python fans will take away the memories from the movie, and those who aren't fans of Monty Python will enjoy the humor an the great songs."

The Hudson Players production will feature the pre-recorded voice of Eric Idle of Monty Python fame as the voice of God. The cast also includes Don Bernardo as King Arthur, Eric Oswald as Sir Robin, Brian Diehl as Patsy, Adam C. Alderson as Bedevere, Jim Dove as Lancelot, Derrick Winger as Galahad, Nina Takacs as Lady of the Lake, Kirk Worcester as Historian/Fred, John Barron-Wright as Herbert, Mike Guffey as French Taunter, Jen Matas, Kyla Williger, Dana Herro, Brenda Willis, Martha Kriley and Alyssa Whiddon as Laker Girls and Tim Steiner, Jay Hill, Ron Davis Chris Macchione and Gary Maher as Knights. Special guests may also be featured for some performances as the "Sir Not Appearing in This Show."

Bernardo said he has "been a huge fan of British humor shows since forever."

"I saw the original cast on Broadway," he said of "Spamalot." "The only one we didn't see was Hank Azaria. It was a lot of fun, and I've always wanted to do this role. This was a great opportunity."

Diehl, who made his own costume and the enormous backpack he totes around as King Arthur's servant Patsy, said that having so many of the cast being a fan of the movie has served as a common bonding element.

"I've been ready for this role since I was 15," Diehl said of the show. "It's one of those shows where most of the cast has seen the movie, so we had to be a part of this."

One skill Diehl said he had to brush off was tap-dancing.

"There is a little bit of tap dancing, and I haven't done that in 30 years," he said.

Ticket and show information

"Spamalot" will run April 25, 26, and May 2, 3, 9, 10, 11, 16 and 17 at the Barlow Community Theater on Oviatt St in Hudson. The May 16 performance will have American Sign Language interpreters. All Friday and Saturday performances are at 8 p.m. with Sunday matinee on May 11 starting at 2 p.m.

Tickets are $14, with group, student and senior discounts available and can be reserved at www.hudsonplayers.com or via phone at 330-655-8522. Additional details can also be found at www.hudsonplayers.com along with information on the groups popular dinner and show package in conjunction with Hudson's restaurant.

Email: ahelms@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9438

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