For the past couple of summers the local theatres in South Florida have gotten together and offered free theatre tickets having you select 3 choices of what is available and trying to give you your first choice . Two years ago we went to see "After The Revolution" at the Caldwell Playhouse in Boca Raton and though I didn't care for the play I did like the theatre and had been going to see that theatre company from the days they started in a store front in the mall. Their new theatre was beautiful but they built it when the economy hit the skids and never recovered officially closing the doors last year.
Looking over the list I chose "Spamalot" for a few reasons: 1) I have never seen it, missing the touring company 2) it was close and 3) though I don't remember what I saw there a few (many?) years ago I do remember being impressed with the auditorium and 4) I had seen the other shows and those nearby weren't worth seeing again.
Bailey Hall is on the Broward College campus and though the latter is easy enough to find the former isn't. We eventually passed a building saying Fine Arts so we figured we were near and did eventually find it.
Bailey Hall has a sleek, long lobby and the theatre itself is sharp with bright red seats, no middle aisle and in many ways reminding me of the Parker Playhoues with good sight lines and both theatres having a capacity of about 1,165 with a large stage. It is a comfortable place to see a show.
This production of "Spamalot" was put on by high school and college students with a few adults in main roles. They really did a spectacular job with the scenery filling the stage with many different sets. The lighting, the costumes were, more or less, adequate but when it came to the cast most performers were way below par. While the choreography tried different steps the cast wasn't up to executing it very well. There were too many sloppy moments with head gear falling off, batons being dropped which, if it was an experienced cast, could have taken advantage by playing into the Monty Python humor but it was beyond them.
It's not fair to blame the cast for it being a bad show because the songs were pedestrian, the book, though incorporating many of the Monty Python's group pieces, dragged.
It was a very small audience--probably 'winners' like us and family members--spread out, not giving the actors a point to play to which didn't help keeping focus on to whom they were playing for.
It is said "You get what you pay for" so what can I say when it was free? It was an outing on a Saturday afternoon in an air conditioned impressive theatre hall and let's leave it at that.