Earfull: They eat ham, and jam and Spam a lot

Monty Python’s Spamalot is coming to the F.M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts for two performances on Oct. 15 at 3 and 8 p.m.

The performance is based on the Tony Award- winning Broadway production with music and lyrics written by Eric Idle and John Du Prez. Idle was responsible for helping to translate the original film, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, into the Spamalot musical. The musical is a parody on the Arthurian Legend in the same manner of the film, with the musical offering humorous jabs at the elements of Broadway theatre.

The show utilizes original sets, lighting and choreography from the Broadway production, though scaled down for ease of touring.

Kasidy Devlin, a Towanda native now based in Manhattan, plays the role of Sir Robin, originally played by Eric Idle in the Monty Python film. Devlin studied at the Electric Theatre Company’s Griffin Conservatory in Scranton, Bocca al Lupo Clown and Commedia Dell Arte School in Orvieto, Italy, and at The Dell Arte International School of Physical Theatre in Blue Lake, Calif., where he developed his background in theatre, clown, and mask performance.

“Acting is more of a physical proposal, or a mental exercise,” he said. “My training helped (me) get into Monty Python because it’s a physical kind of humor.”

When Devlin accepted the role of Sir Robin, he was well aware of the fandom associated with Monty Python, including the fans’ love for the characters, and the famous lines they’ve committed to memory. “I think you have to be very careful because it can become a parody or an impersonation,” said Kasidy. “But I looked at what Eric Idle was doing in the scene, or what his motivation was in the scene, and I try to be honest.”

“It works with different actors, which is a testament to the show that they wrote,” he said. “It’s arguably one of the funniest films ever made. It’s material that you know and it’s great to watch it with other like-minded people. Even those who come to the show without knowing the material end up loving it more than the Python fans.”

Spamalot is touring theaters internationally and across the country, though Kasidy has fond memories of the Kirby Center. “I love it,” he said. “I’ve seen shows there and when I was studying at the Electric Theatre (Company), I helped with some children’s productions, promoting (shows) in and around the building dressed in costume.”

- jason lucarelli

Tickets to Spamalot are $29, $49, and $59, and are available at www.ticketmaster.com. For more information, visit www.kirbycenter.org.