Grosse Pointe Theatre issues a welcome ‘Spam’ alert

By: K. Michelle Moran | Grosse Pointe Times | Published September 16, 2015

GROSSE POINTE FARMS — The British comedy troupe Monty Python has more than its share of diehard fans, and it turns out that more than a few of them are Grosse Pointe Theatre members.


So when GPT decided to open its 2015-16 season with “Monty Python’s Spamalot” — which will start Sept. 20 and run through Oct. 3 — rounding up a cast and crew wasn’t difficult.


A musical theater version of the classic comedy film “Monty Python and the Holy Grail,” “Spamalot” is a parody of the quest of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table as they go in search of the legendary Holy Grail. The GPT version stars Tim Reinman of Grosse Pointe Farms as King Arthur; Danielle Caralis of Birmingham as The Lady of the Lake; and Peter DiSante of St. Clair Shores, Bob Montgomery of Grosse Pointe Farms, Brock McKinley of Grosse Pointe Farms and Jef Fisk of Grosse Pointe City as knights, with Rob Weber of Grosse Pointe City as Patsy.


Charly Davis, of Grosse Pointe City, a member of the ensemble cast and the son of director Susan Davis, was among the Monty Python enthusiasts happy to join the cast.


“One of the great things about Monty Python is their humor crosses generations,” he said of the troupe, which formed in the late 1960s. “It’s still funny today.”


Fans of musicals in general will catch references to other movie musicals, he said.


Susan Davis, of Grosse Pointe Farms, said the show is “a spoof on everything” that includes catchy songs ranging from jazz to rock to gospel.


“This show is just plain silliness from start to finish, and it’s the kind of silliness everyone will enjoy,” she said.


Three of Susan Davis’ five grandchildren are in the cast, and her son Jonathan Davis, of Grosse Pointe City, is serving as stage manager. The Davis family has worked together on GPT projects for years; Susan Davis’ late husband, Charles “Terry” Davis, would run lighting on shows that she directed alongside son Jonathan.


“It’s great, because we can say anything to each other,” Jonathan Davis said of working with his family.


The cast also includes Amanda Nummy and Ashlee McKinley of Grosse Pointe Farms, Becky Bodley of Mount Clemens, Sara Shook of Grosse Pointe City, Cap Blood of Grosse Pointe City, Eddie Tujaka and daughter Jessica of Grosse Pointe Farms, Keith Clark of Harper Woods, Trevor Sherry of Madison Heights, Phil Potter of Harper Woods, Erin Getzin of St. Clair, Robert Lee of Warren, John Diebel of Grosse Pointe City, Julie Nixon of Grosse Pointe Woods, Judy Gilbert of Grosse Pointe Farms, CJ Sherry of Madison Heights, Katherine Baetz of Grosse Pointe Farms, Virginia Lee of Grosse Pointe City, Jackie Pfaff of Chesterfield Township, Sean von Schwartz of Grosse Pointe Farms, Jon Lechner of Warren, and Mike Edick of Grosse Pointe Woods.


Along with memorable music and lines, Jonathan Davis said audiences can expect “gunshots, smoke, explosions and a killer rabbit.” Oh, and lots of crazy costumes — some in keeping with the period, some not.


“It’s well over 100 costumes, but that’s not unusual for (GPT),” said co-costumer Rik Selke, of Sterling Heights.


There will be some local references as well.


“We do add things to fill it out and make it our own,” Charly Davis said. “People who have seen (the musical) before will be surprised.”


His brother agreed.


“I think anyone who’s seen any of my mom’s shows knows to expect the unexpected,” Jonathan Davis said.


All of this zaniness requires crack comedic timing, and Susan Davis said her cast delivers.


“(Audiences) will see silliness, but they’ll (also) see this show done by actors who are just perfection in their parts,” she said.

Reinman said Monty Python fans should “really love” this show, but familiarity with their work or “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” isn’t a prerequisite.

“Nobody needs to have seen the movie to appreciate the humor,” Jonathan Davis said.


Reinman — who used to get in trouble with his teachers for doing Monty Python bits — is now having the last laugh.


“I’d always do the sketches in school and they’d tell me to stop,” he said. “Now they can’t tell me to stop.”


GPT productions are staged at the Grosse Pointe War Memorial, 32 Lake Shore Road in Grosse Pointe Farms. Tickets cost $24. For tickets or more information, call (313) 881-4004 or visit www.gpt.org.