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"Spamalot": The Holy Grail musical


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Shamelessly reproduced from the Toronto Star:

Idle hands shaping Holy Grail musical

Python actor puts name on project

Openings set for Chicago and N.Y.



The Knights Who Say "Ni" are heading to Broadway.

Months of idle (and Idle) speculation were laid to rest yesterday when the casting and opening dates for Spamalot were announced.

It's a new musical based on the 1975 cult favourite film, Monty Python And The Holy Grail, with the major creative force behind it being one of the original players, Eric Idle. Idle is writing the book, based on the film's screenplay, and will collaborate with John Du Prez on the score, while Broadway icon Mike Nichols will be directing.

A somewhat revisionist version of the famous story of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, the original film is still fondly remembered for its oddball touches like the killer rabbit, as well as the ultimate phrase of medieval disdain, "I fart in your general direction."

In an interview with the Star last fall, Idle outlined his dreams for the show. "I want it to be like a giant panto," he said, "Funny and witty ... like The Producers, only with sword fighting."

The three leading cast members announced so far are certainly the kind of quirky comic figures capable of doing full justice to the twisted Python view of the Middle Ages.

David Hyde Pierce will play Sir Robin the Not-Quite-So-Brave, Idle's role in the movie. Although an experienced Broadway actor, Pierce is better known as Dr. Niles Crane on Frasier.

Tackling King Arthur, Graham Chapman's role on screen, will be Tim Curry, who became infamous as the original Frank N. Furter in The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and later a Tony nominee as Mozart in Amadeus.

Also on tap will be Hank Azaria as Sir Lancelot (John Cleese in the original). A fine stage and screen actor, Azaria has also won three Emmys for his voice work on The Simpsons.

Spamalot will have its world premiere at Chicago's Shubert Theatre on Dec. 21, 2004 and will open on Broadway, at a different Shubert Theatre, on March 10, 2005. As the official announcement noted, "Spamalot will only play at theatres called Shubert. If someone tries to convince you you're seeing Spamalot and you find you're not at a theatre called Shubert, you're in the wrong place. Now. Run Away."


Cool, non? ::

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