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Hold onto your limbs!

‘Spamalot’ to visit Community Arts Center

October 2, 2011
By MATTHEW PARRISH ( , Williamsport Sun-Gazette

Hold onto your limbs because "Spamalot" is coming to town. The Tony Award-winning musical is, as the website says, "lovingly ripped off from" the classic 1975 film "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" and will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 12 at the Community Arts Center, 220 W. Fourth St.

Jacob Smith, who performs as Sir Dennis Galahad, The Black Knight and Prince Herbert's Father (roles played by Christopher Sieber on Broadway), said that the show will be "fun, fun, fun."

"No joke, you will laugh until you cry," Smith said in an email interview with the Sun-Gazette.

Article Photos

Jacob Smith, left, is seen performing as a part of “Spamalot,” which will come to the Community Arts Center, 220 W. Fourth St., at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 12.

The show will please Python diehards, naturally, but also will be fun for newbies as well, according to Smith.

"The thing about this show is that you don't have to be a fan of the Python material or a fan of theater, for that matter," Smith said. "This is one of those rare shows that has something for everyone, and will make you laugh, no doubt."

This year is Smith's second as a part of the show. He auditioned in April 2010 and there were five callbacks.

"It was the longest audition process I've ever gone through," he said. "I freaked when I got the role! I mean, I sat in my apartment for a minute and then just started grinning from ear to ear before jumping up and down like I scored the winning run in game 7 of the World Series. I was kind of excited."

The "Spamalot" crew typically performs eight shows a week and the actor said that the schedule can be grueling.

"Sometimes we have a lot of one-night performances right in a row, so it can be exhausting," he said. "For the most part, though, it is a wonderful experience."

Smith said that audiences have been loving the show - which is no surprise when one considers how long Monty Python products have been popular - and that his favorite scene is the opening number, "Finland."

"I stand backstage every night and watch and laugh every night!" he said. "I also love the killer rabbit scene."

And yes, there will be some flying limbs and an airborne cow.

"I always love to hear the reaction when the cow makes its entrance, that's a good time," Smith told the Rapid City Journal.

The "Spamalot" tour has a lot of new cast members this year - who are all very funny - and director BT McNichol has been "a pleasure to work with," Smith said.

The source material for the musical, "Monty Python and the Holy Grail," is one of Smith's favorite Python films.

"My favorite line, said by Arthur to the Black Knight, [is] 'You make me sad,' " Smith said.

Smith is originally from Cedar Falls, Ia. His parents were not professional performers but they influenced him.

"My dad is one of the funniest people I know," he said. "And I definitely got my voice from my mom."

Early on, Smith loved to sing but was terrified of performing onstage.

"I had terrible stage fright," he said. "When I was in college a friend begged me to go to an audition for a community theater production of Joseph and I reluctantly went. I was cast and fell in love with theater - and because of that, I totally got over my fear."

His first theatrical role was as Simeon in "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" and his first lead was Gaston in "Beauty in the Beast."

Smith was a communications major at the University of Northern Iowa before moving to New York in 2008 to attend the American Musical and Dramatic Academy. He performed in the 2010 Broadway Rising Stars concert at Town Hall in New York. His other New York credits include "Paint Your Wagon" and "Silk Stockings."

Smith has never been to Williamsport but he said that he's looking forward to it.

"We always love visiting new places and meeting great people and I'm sure Williamsport won't disappoint!"

Tickets for "Spamalot" are between $30 and $50 and may be bought by visiting or by calling 326-2424. Box office hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.



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