2013-03-13 / Front Page
Edison H.S. presents ‘Spamalot’ with original production’s costumes
Upcoming performances mark the show’s N.J. premiere
A little bit of Broadway comes to Edison this week, as the Edison High School (EHS) Drama Club presents the New Jersey premiere of Monty Python’s “Spamalot,” directed by Nicholas Kaminski and featuring costumes from the original London production.
“Spamalot,” the Tony winner for Best Musical in 2005, is based on the motion picture “Monty Python and the Holy Grail.” With book and lyrics by Python-member Eric Idle and music by longtime Python-collaborator John Du Prez, “Spamalot” is the tale of King Arthur, who is given a holy quest by God to assemble the Knights of the Round Table, unite England and find the Holy Grail. Along the way, he meets beautiful showgirls, killer rabbits, cows, and some French characters.
The production by EHS Drama Club marks the first time “Spamalot” has been produced entirely in New Jersey, and also marks the first time EHS’ new drama director, Nicholas Kaminski, has produced a spring musical at the school. Kaminski, a graduate of Rutgers University, previously functioned as the music director for the drama club and will also conduct the “Spamalot” pit orchestra.
“The show is so much fun,” Kaminski said. “It’s absolutely hilarious, and it’s a real spectacular. The performers have to sing and dance, often at the same time. I have a 14-piece professional live orchestra in the pit, a massive set onstage and an even more massive costume plot.”
And the costumes are something to see. Totaling over $150,000 in value, they are from the original London production.
“When you see ‘Tim Curry’ stitched into the inside of King Arthur’s armor, it gives you an idea of how big this production is. ‘This is the real deal,’ you think,” Kaminski said. Wearing Tim Curry’s former costumes is Edison High School senior Tim O’Donnell, who plays King Arthur and is also the junior director of the drama club.
“The costumes fit me perfectly. Tim Curry and I are soulmates,” O’Donnell joked.
However, “Spamalot” is more than just a bunch of flashy costumes.
“The uniqueness lies in the kind of people needed to run this show,” O’Donnell said. “Technically, you have to be brilliant; you have to be a master of your craft in order to be successful.”
These “technically brilliant” people are technical director Matthew Leddin, choreographer Lyle Dungee, assistant choreographer Robert Firkser and scenic artist Ashley MacKinnon.
“My production staff is filled with magicians,” Kaminski said. “I couldn’t ask for a more talented team. I give them my vision, and they materialize it.”
Lady of The Lake, EHS junior and the drama club’s junior music director Rachel Phelan said the character was a personal dream role.
“It is literally the best feeling in the entire world, and I’ve never felt anything like it before,” she said. “It’s a challenge, but it’s the kind of challenge that warms your heart and makes you feel phenomenal.”
“Spamalot” runs every night from March 14-16 and 22-23 at 7 p.m. in the Edison High School auditorium. Advance tickets can be purchased by requesting a ticket order form from firstname.lastname@example.org. In advance, tickets are $10 for students and seniors, and $15 for general admission. At the door, tickets are $15 for students and seniors, and $20 for general admission.
For more information about “Spamalot” and other upcoming events, please visit www.facebook.com/EHSDC.