For the bargain price of $10, you can treat yourself to two hours of Vegas-wattage, Broadway-bound rising stars hitting it out of the park. The Santa Barbara High School Theater is staging Spamalot, lovingly ripped off (as they put it) from Monty Python’s Holy Grail, totally amped up, dressed up and repackaged into a raucous show with something on offer for everyone.As with all things Python, no sacred cows are left unmolested.
Perhaps best of all, with all the youth vibrancy rocking that stage, you’ll be totally amped up to go quest for your own grail, and indeed they urge you to do so. At the end of the night, it was one hell of an exercise in showmanship, great theater, and creative expression. I tried to think of an excuse, but if I'm going to fight for more funding of the arts in our local schools, I had better be prepared to support them in person as well. In a time where a large amount of local news coverage of our youth focuses on the negative, this high school program is clearly gathering the talented teenagers who are too busy and too talented to be getting into trouble. He is a pleasure every time he is on stage, which, fortunately for the audience, is frequently.


How lovely it is to be reminded of the importance of love, laughter and living by a group of our most talented, local youth.
Seymour only has eyes for co-worker Audrey, a perky, ever-hopeful dreamer who wants nothing more than the love of a decent guy and escape from the tenements to greener pastures.
Soon an emboldened Seymour is openly courting the lovely Audrey I, following the mysterious, happy and botanically inspired disappearance of her dyspeptic former beau. The more Seymour gets what he wants, the more the ever-growing Audrey II is seen to be orchestrating his good fortune, to our hero’s growing chagrin.And all of this colorful chaos is set to a live soundtrack that could have been written for The Shirelles. As befits a Skid Row ensemble of musicians, they are safely ensconced behind period chain link just below the stage apron. Christopher “Critter” Canfield handled the challenge of the Beast and his considerable costume equally well, and even added a genuinely threatening note to some of his speeches that helped lift the whole production out of the cartoon world of its original incarnation and into the universe of such Broadway standouts as Les Mis.Much of the charm of any production of Beauty and the Beast comes from the excitement of seeing a large cast having fun with great costumes.


HAIR shows an era of revolution where values were redefined as children were sent by their parents to protect them (as in the song “I Got Life”), love for the community overwhelmed love for another individual (as in “Easy to Be Hard”), and duty challenged integrity. This is because he has just been drafted for the war, although his internal struggle is exposed more to the audience than to his friends Berger and Sheila. Although they believe that the draft is “white people sending black people to fight yellow people to protect the country they stole from the red people,” no matter how many draft cards they burn, reality inevitably hits our hairy tribe.From the strong beginning of “Aquarius” to Claude’s tragic death, the cast moves with complete control, reminding an audience of elders that time has moved on from their free-flowing, hippie childhood days to those of today’s more grounded and somewhat more mature youth. Nonetheless, as Jana McIntyre exemplifies through her excellent rendition of “Good Morning Starshine,” it wasn’t just “the movement” but also the voices of the era that gave hope to the youth of the ‘60s.




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