I caught up with “Monty Python’s Spamalot” last Sunday, when the show stood as the sparkler atop Pittsburgh CLO’s sweet and sassy 2014 season.
CLO gifted theatergoers with a cast that could have come direct from a Broadway revival of the delightfully cheeky musical, based on the British troupe’s “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” and adapted by Eric Idle and John Du Prez.
It was especially fun to see Robert Creighton (above left, with Tom Hewitt; credit: Archie Carpenter) in the role of Patsy. Among his Broadway roles are Durdles/Mr. Nick Cricker in last year’s revival of “The Mystery of Edwin Drood” and a replacement Timon in “The Lion King.” Last year, colleague Maria Sciullo and I happened to be in attendance for the taping of a Seth Rudetsky Sirius XM Radio segment that featured Creighton.
He did justice to the subversively cheerful “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life,” a song I know well and almost whistled along to -- well, I did for the the encore.
I also enjoyed the patter between Broadway veterans Tom Hewitt as Arthur and Adam Pelty as Tim (also Lancelot/Ni), when Pelty cracked Hewitt up (a la Tim Conway and Harvey Korman) and finally said, “You’re going to miss me, aren’t you?” I don’t know if it was for show, but they certainly seemed like they were having a blast, and so was the audience.
We know Elizabeth Stanley (Lady of the Lake) is heading back to Broadway in “Our Town,” and Tyler Hanes (Gallahad), via CMU and NYC, is becoming a welcome CLO sight since “42nd Street.”
I could go on, but mostly I want to mention that it’s interesting to see so many Penn Staters in the hard-working, talented CLO ensemble. And speaking of Penn State alums …
MATTHEW HYDZIK, a Quaker Valley High School and PSU grad, is headed back to Broadway. “The West Side Story” star reteamed with his “Flashdance” co-star Emily Padgett for the musical “Side Show” at the Kennedy Center, and both will reprise their roles when the revival of “Side Show” moves to Broadway’s St. James Theatre, with opening night set for Nov. 17.
Oscar winner Bill Condon (“Dreamgirls”) will make his Broadway directorial debut with the show, based on real-life conjoined twins Violet (Erin Davie) and Daisy Hilton (Padgett), who had a circus act in the 1930s. Hydzik plays Buddy Foster, one of the men in the twins’ lives.
Also coming to Broadway ...
ROB ASHFORD, who recently helped Kenneth Branagh make his New York stage debut as co-director of "Macbeth," will return to his musical roots next year with a revival of "Best Little Whorehouse in Texas."
Image: Matthew Hydzik in Kennedy Center production of "Side Show." Credit: Joan Marcus