King Me: Harry Groener Becomes Broadway's New Arthur in Monty Python's Spamalot

News   King Me: Harry Groener Becomes Broadway's New Arthur in Monty Python's Spamalot
 
The throne of King Arthur in Monty Python's Spamalot on Broadway is usurped as Harry Groener takes over the role April 25.

Groener replaces the second Broadway King, Simon Russell Beale, following original Tony Award-nominated star Tim Curry. The two British imports will repeat the coronation process again for the London West End staging (starting Oct. 2 at the Palace Theatre) with Curry opening and Beale scheduled to appear in 2007.

A three-time Tony Award nominee Groener earned nods for his work in Crazy For You, Cats and Oklahoma. Other credits include Sunday in the Park with George, Imaginary Friends, Harrigan 'n Hart, Picasso at the Lapine Agile and Is there Life After High School? He has also appeared in film and on TV in "Huff," "The West Wing," "Las Vegas," "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," "Road to Perdition" and "About Schmidt."

Groener joins two new recently added subjects — Martin Moran (The Tricky Part, Cabaret) and Steve Kazee (The Subject Was Roses, Seascape) — as knights Sir Robin and Sir Lancelot, respectively. They began their knighthood April 4 at Broadway's Shubert Theatre.

Mike Nichols ("The Graduate," "Angels in America") directed and Casey Nicholaw (The Drowsy Chaperone) choreographed the show inspired by the 1975 feature film comedy "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" which landed at Broadway's Shubert Theatre for a St. Valentine's Day (Feb. 14, 2005) start and a St. Patrick's Day (March 17) opening.

Spamalot tells the tale of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table on their quest from God for the Holy Grail - with a short stop in the dazzling Spam-filled land of Camelot. The musical features a book by Eric Idle based on the screenplay he co-wrote with Monty Python creators Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones and Michael Palin. The new score — with music and lyrics by Idle and composer John Du Prez ("A Fish Called Wanda") — includes songs ("Brave Sir Robin" and "Knights of the Round Table") from the original film as well as Python signature "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life."

With 14 nominations at the 2005 Tony Awards, Spamalot took home prizes for Best Musical, Best Direction (Nichols) and Featured Actress (Sara Ramirez). The original Decca Broadway cast album earned the 2006 Grammy Award for Best Musical Show Album. A national tour launched March 7 from Boston's Colonial Theatre and performs as venues across the country through Aug. 2007. A Las Vegas run (at the Wynn Las Vegas resort's forthcoming Grail Theatre) is in the works.

The design team for Spamalot features Tim Hatley (set, costume), Hugh Vanstone (lighting), Gregory Meeh (special effects) and ACME Sound Partners (sound).

The show website can be found at www.montypythonsspamalot.com.

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