“I got it, mate.”
I instantly recognized the voice, both for the uniqueness of it, and also for the accent. It was Larry, calling from Hillsboro, by way of London. “Got what?” I said.
“You, my dear boy, are speaking with Arthur, King of the Britons.”
“I’m confused,” I said.
I heard him smile through the phone. “Spamalot. I got the part. I’m to play King Arthur.”
Larry has had a lifelong love of acting. And now his latest experience—thanks to the Hart Theatre, in the Heart of Hillsboro, he was going to bring to life one of the most iconic characters in modern comedy.
The Hart Theatre in downtown Hillsboro, Oregon is a small, community funded theatre. In addition to putting on several plays each year, the theatre also conducts storytelling and acting classes and, rather than relying on the same group of actors each show, they hold open auditions. It’s a great way to try something new, and enjoy some inexpensive entertainment.
So, the night we were able to go—the very last night of Spamalot, I rushed home from work and squired my beautiful wife to downtown Hillsboro. We arrived in the nick of time and found our seats in the 100-seat theatre.
The seats rose above the stage, curtains and castles lined the side of the stage while a castle gate was in the middle and then, there he was; Larry, otherwise known as King Arthur, and his loyal “Steed” Patsy, prancing across the stage. The show was on and it was amazing.
Classic sketches from Monty Python and the Search for the Holy Grail, mixed with songs and non-sequitors made for a remarkable evening and, while it may have been community theatre, it felt professional and legitimate.
The first 45 minutes flew by and at intermission, we were met with the unmistakable aroma of fresh baked cookies that were being offered in the foyer. There, while we enjoyed cookies, pastries, water, and coffee, we looked around the room. Posters of past and future performances lined the walls, and photos and bios of the actors performing were spread across the hallway.
And, as we were ushered back inside, beckoned by the twice flashing lights, we laughed and cheered all the way to the curtain call and, as the actors took their final bow, we couldn’t help but feel a sense of pride that this great spectacle was right here, in our fair city.
Hart Theatre is located at 185 SE Washington in Downtown Hillsboro, Oregon.