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Local actress reprises role in ‘Spamalot’ at Theatre in the Park

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Lyndsey Agron, who portrays Lady of the Lake in Theatre in the Park’s production of “Spamalot” shares a romantic singing moment in rehearsal with Ken Koval, who portrays Galahad in the Monty Python musical opening June 2.

There have been many versions of the legend of King Arthur, but the modern musical parody of the Arthurian legend, “Spamalot,” inspired by the movie “Monty Python and the Holy Grail,” is probably the most well-known today. It’s a hilarious, ridiculous take on King Arthur and, based on its longevity, extremely popular.

“Spamalot,” which debuted on Broadway in 2005, was directed by the late Mike Nichols. The musical won three Tony awards, including best musical of the 2004-2005 season and best direction. The movie first came out in 1975.

Kansas City’s own Lyndsey Agron will play the Lady of the Lake, which she first performed at White Theatre three years ago. This lead female role requires tremendous vocal ability as she jumps from opera to pop to scatting, which Agron says she loves.

“She kind of encapsulates all the things as a vocalist you want to get to do because she doesn’t say anything until the end of the show, it’s all songs,” the 35-year-old actress/singer says. “The acting is really fun because she’s this mystical creature of the lake who gives Arthur the sword Excalibur and makes him king. She’s his guide and she’s very regal. Then she goes into this jazzy nightclub — I call it the drunken Judy Garland. She’s there to add some comic relief.”

Agron says the Lady of the Lake can be kind of bratty and a real diva, like when she complains about where her part in the show has gone with the song “Whatever Happened to My Part?”

“But she also gets to have a love interest with Arthur,” she says. “It’s just so much fun to hop around and do all these different styles. It’s campy. Everything about the show is just really fun.”

Agron says there isn’t one song in the show she can’t listen to and enjoy, even though she’s heard them a thousand times. She laughs at the same jokes and now finds new ones with a different cast and directing team.

“It’s a musical that sort of makes fun of other musicals a little bit,” she says. “There’s a duet I have that makes fun of operas, but it doesn’t take itself too seriously and for me that’s super enjoyable.

“You want to go and be entertained and have a smile on your face. The first time I saw ‘Spamalot’ was when the Starlight tour came through and I thought it was the greatest thing I had ever seen. It’s so goofy.”

Fans of the Monty Python movie are bound to love it. But even if you’re not familiar with the movie or the musical, Agron says you can just go, relax and enjoy good music and talented people.

“To me, that’s what musicals are all about,” she says.

Agron has been performing since she was 12 years old. She was in school plays at Shawnee Mission South High School and attended UMKC Conservatory of Music. When she was 14, she was in the children’s ensemble of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.”

She has performed at local theaters such as The New Theatre, Starlight Theatre, Theatre in the Park, Chestnut Fine Arts Theatre, Spinning Tree Theatre, Egad Theatre and Kansas City Repertory Theatre.

After she graduated from college, she spent five years on the road, performing in Indiana, Tulsa, Michigan, did an East Coast tour of “A Christmas Carol” with Nebraska Theatre Caravan, did a children’s tour out of Wichita, performed at the Great Plains Theatre in Abilene, Kansas, and at Crown Uptown Theatre in Wichita.

Musicals on her resume include “Fiddler on the Roof,” “Hello Dolly,” “Pirates of Penzance,” “Oklahoma,” “Little Shop of Horrors,” “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers” and “Carrie: The Musical.”

“That was awesome,” she says of “Carrie.” “I played the gym teacher.”

She also did “Tommy” at The J and has done a couple of revues.

In addition she has done straight plays, including “To Kill a Mockingbird” (she was Mayella Violet Ewell, the girl who falsely accuses Tom Robinson of raping her) and “Don’t Dress for Dinner,” plus some children’s theater.

Agron says “Spamalot” is near and dear to her heart.

“It’s really special. [The Lady of the Lake] is the only female lead,” she says. “I got to do it once and that was amazing, but to do it twice, I feel so lucky and grateful and blessed. Having done it already was such an incredible experience, and to get to do it with two amazing groups of people, I’m just the luckiest kid in the world. I’m in that role that every girl wants to play; she’s it.”

Agron is the daughter of Jeffrey Agron and Renay Kessler. She resides in Overland Park.

‘Spamalot’

Theatre in the Park will open its 48th season with the musical spoof ‘Spamalot’ on Friday, June 2. The box office opens at 6 p.m.; gates to the seating bowl open at 6:30 p.m. and the show starts at 8:30 p.m.

General admission tickets are $8, youth $6 and children 3 and under may attend free, but require a ticket for entrance.

‘Spamalot’ will run through Sunday, June 4, and then continue its run Wednesday, June 7, through Saturday, June 10.

Theatre in the Park is located in Shawnee Mission Park at 7710 Renner Road, Shawnee, KS.