Monty Python's Spamalot has a UNI twist

You either love the movie "Monty Python and the Holy Grail," or have no idea what to think of it. This 1974 British comedy is a classic and has been hailed as one of the best movies of all time.

UNI graduate Jacob Smith plays three
characters in"Monty Python's Spamalot."
The above photo is Smith as the 
Black Knight.

More than 30 years later, "a new musical lovingly ripped off from the motion picture" appeared on the scene. "Monty Python's Spamalot" tells the tale of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table as they embark on their quest for the Holy Grail, and it will be performed at the University of Northern Iowa's Gallagher-Bluedorn Performing Arts Center on Sunday, Jan. 15, at 2 and 7:30 p.m.

But, the Cedar Valley gets an added bonus. UNI graduate Jacob Smith plays three characters in the stage show – the Black Knight, Sir Dennis Galahad and Father.

"It takes a massive amount of concentration to play three characters," said Smith. "Thankfully, each character is very distinct with specific accents, which really helps. Galahad is very different from the Black Knight, and the Black Knight is very different from Father. If they were more alike, I think I would have a much more difficult time."

Smith graduated from UNI in 2004 with a degree in communication studies. He was a member of the Men's Varsity Glee Club, worked the front desk in Shull Hall and worked as an admissions counselor at UNI after graduation. While he didn't do any theatre at UNI, Smith participated in several Waterloo Community Playhouse and Cedar Falls Community Theatre productions.

"UNI was, in my opinion, the perfect college experience," said Smith. "I think the university really helped me grow and set a great foundation for me to become the person I am today."

After trying several jobs around the Cedar Valley, Smith realized the call of lights and sounds of the theatre was just too strong, so he did what most people only dream of doing…he picked up and moved to New York City.

Smith has been on stage consistently since graduating from the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York. Some of the previous shows he's been in include "Paint Your Wagon" and "Silk Stockings." He is returning for his second year with "Spamalot" and has already done 320 shows in 160 cities. Smith has put in a lot of work, but the audience and theatre community is his reward.

"I love that I can be creative everyday, and that my work environment always changes," said Smith. "It's an honor to be a part of such a wonderful community of working actors."

Smith says this may be his last year with "Spamalot," he'd like to move onto Broadway and get out of being on the road so much. He also added that he may be a different person on stage, but is "a Panther through and through."

Knights of the Round Table from "Monty Python's Spamalot." Be sure to
check it out at the GBPAC on Sunday, Jan. 15, at 2 and 7:30 p.m.