“Galavant” is a musical packed into a comedy set in a Medieval fairy tale kingdom that’s a cross between “Spamalot,” “Shrek,” and “The Princess Bride.”
The four-week series follows the adventures of a dashing knight, Galavant (Joshua Sasse), as he attempts to rescue his true love, Madalena (Mallory Jansen), from the clutches of the evil King Richard (Timothy Omundson). Galavant teams up with his squire Sid (Luke Youngblood) and Isabella (Karen David), a princess looking to save her parents from King Richard’s dungeons.
“It’s the dream job because you have all these different elements on the show,” Jansen told TheWrap. “You have dance, and singing, and horseback riding, and combat, all these things make for a fun moment.”
The new ABC winter offering is a gallant effort from “The Neighbors“ creator Dan Fogelman, featuring original music and lyrics from Alan Menken (“Beauty and the Beast,” “Aladdin”) and Glenn Slater (“Tangled”).
TheWrap spoke with the cast of the new ABC comedy to get a sneak peek at this event series’ twists and turns.
1. Galavant will find his princess… but she’s a royal pain in the butt.
After the love of his life marries the king, Galavant’s world falls apart. Making things worse, the king wants him dead. The King is so eager to find him, he locks up Isabella’s parents and threatens to kill them unless she agrees to trick Galavant into coming back home. Unlike Madalena (who only cares about money and fame), Isabella is feisty and smart. She’s not afraid to speak her mind. And that’s what eventually catches Galavant’s attention.
“In a way, Isabella brings him back to life,” David told TheWrap. “They embark on this journey and they’re together 24/7. As they go through the hardships of traveling during medieval 15th century, they learn a lot about each other. I hope I’m not going to get in trouble for saying this, but eventually, it happens. But trust me, there’s a good amount of bickering going on between them which is funny to watch.”
2. This is not your daughter’s Disney.
Galavant is not based upon on any specific fairy tale, but it does have some of the traditional fable elements: the damsel in distress, ruthless pirates, and a loyal squire. But that’s where the similarities end. While Galavant’s damsel does experience distress, she’s not exactly meek or helpless. The show is littered with pop-culture references, and often pokes fun at classic fairy tales. In one particular scene, a couple in love sings about each other’s gross habits. In other words, it’s not exactly “The Little Mermaid.”
“When I first read the script, I thought there was no way I was going to get the part,” said Youngblood. Even though the character was described as a “scrawny Jewish guy,” it was Youngblood, a black actor from London who landed the part.
“I told them during my audition that my parents were completely ‘plotzed’ that I was reading for this show. I think it might have been the thing that won me the role.”
3. It’s a fairy tale for adults.
Make no mistake, this show is not for little kids. It’s geared for primetime through and through. The title song makes references to cojones, cleavage and wildly acrobatic sex. On the flip side, it could become one of the few shows that appeal to both men and women. There’s plenty of romance for those who like love stories, but there’s also a fair amount of jousting and fighting.
“What I find funny isn’t necessarily politically correct,” said Sasse, who plays Galavant. “He’s not PC. I was after something real as opposed to something polished.”
4. Vinnie Jones sings.
The former soccer player-tuned-actor is not exactly known for his nice guy roles. He’s usually cast as the scary tough guy. His credits include badass flicks like “Snatch” and “Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels.” Fans will be tickled to see their favorite thug obliterating his rowdy image as he bursts into song and dance. But not to worry, he’s still got his dark side.
“I can tell you the unbelievable twists,” teased Jones. “I flip this lot like a cheese omelette. There is only one throne in the castle isn’t there? Who do you think ends up in it?”
5. You don’t have to be a die-hard musical fan to watch the show.
If you’re one of those who roll their eyes whenever an actor bursts into a song in the middle of an otherwise perfectly acceptable play or movie, fear not. Composer Alan Menken (think any of Disney’s most memorable tunes,) along with lyricist Glenn Slater, managed to come up with some of the funniest songs in musical history. You try rhyming “adventure” with “butt-clencher.”
“I’m in a cast full of amazing singers singing frickin’ Alan Menkin songs,” said Omundson. “I have friends who are on Broadway who are literally mad at me. They’re like, ‘You son of bitch, you’re the one who got that job?'”
“Galavant” premieres on Sunday at 8 p.m. on ABC.