Dark knights, killer rabbits

Inside a jam-packed room at the Puhi Theatrical Warehouse filled with more than 50 costumes, accessories and goodies “Spamalot” Director Rebecca Hanson laughed as she tried to count the number of costumes.

“One actor has nine costume changes,” she said, smiling. “This is not even close to being everything we have for this show.”

Hanson is directing Hawaii Children’s Theatre’s Summer After Dark Show “Monty Python’s Spamalot,” which begins July 21 and runs for three weekends — Thursday, Friday and Saturday with all shows starting at 7 p.m.

It’s the first time Hanson will direct an After Dark show and said “she’s excited, nervous and terrified,” but knows she’s picked the right show.

“It is a musical based on the movie ‘Monty Python and the Holy Grail,’” she said. “King Arthur is gathering knights to join him in Camelot where he received a message from god to receive the Holy Grail. This is something that I have grown up with. It’s one of my dad’s favorite films. So if you’ve seen the movie, it has all the same characters, the same plotline, some of the same scenes. Some of the scenes are different, of course, it’s a Broadway musical. So they have added song and dance to it.”

Jessika Montoya, who plays The Lady of the Lake, said her character is a diva.

“I’ve never played a character that loves herself so much,” she said. “She’s big. She’s a diva and has a big personality. I’m not used to it, but I’m having fun with it.”

Jarhett Gaines plays King Arthur and said if there is straight character in the show, it’s his. But that’s not saying a whole lot, he said.

“He thinks he’s a king, but he’s a total idiot,” he said.

For Hanson, she said it was something she had to direct as soon as she found out the rights were available.

“Interestingly enough, until November, I had never seen the film all the way through from beginning to end,” she said. “I’ve only seen the little scenes. Each scene in the movie can live on its own. My dad, would be like, ‘Hey Becky, Becky come watch this.’ I’ve watched The Black Knight get de-limbed. The killer rabbit. The migrating coconut scene.”

Fifteen actors play multiple characters in a show that lasts two and half hours.

“As a director, you have to watch the show over and over again. You have to listen to and read it over and over again,” Hanson said. “Even to this day, I come in to rehearsal, I am still laughing at the same scenes. These actors are coming and just adding these nuances to their characters that where I might enjoy Sir Robin in this scene or where I might really enjoy King Arthur in this scene.”

Tickets at $25. The show is rated PG-13.

Info: www.hawaiichildrenstheatre

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