The just-announced 23-member ensemble will feature Brad Bradley (Annie Get Your Gun), Thomas Cannizzaro (Cabaret), Kevin Covert, Jesse Tyler Ferguson (On the Town), Jennifer Frankel (Chicago), Lisa Gajda (Movin’ Out), Jenny Hill (Seussical), Emily Hsu (Flower Drum Song), Abbey O'Brien, Ariel Reid, Pamela Remler (Chicago), Greg Reuter (Chicago), Brian Shepard (Annie Get Your Gun), Rick Spaans (Annie Get Your Gun) and Scott Taylor (Contact).
The musicalized stage version of the "Monty Python and the Holy Grail," is set to begin Feb. 7, 2005 and open March 10, 2005 at Broadway’s Shubert Theatre.
Mike Nichols ("The Graduate," "Angels in America") directs the work set to have its world premiere at Chicago's Shubert Theatre, Dec. 21, 2004 to Jan. 16, 2005, before heading to Broadway.
The self-proclaimed "lovingly ripped-off" stagework 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.
Spamalot features a completely new score with music and lyrics by Idle and composer John Du Prez ("A Fish Called Wanda") with three songs ("Brave Sir Robin," "He's Going to Tell," and "Knights of the Round Table") from the original 1975 film. Larry Hochman (Fiddler on the Roof) provides orchestrations, Glen Kelly handles music arrangements and Michael Keller will be musical coordinator. Spamalot tells the tale of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table on their quest for the Holy Grail. The show will boast "a chorus line of legless knights, men in tights (with legs), killer rabbits and dancing divas who create unforgettable musical production numbers." Creator Eric Idle, in the show's announcement, promises it will be "almost as good as anything else opening in Chicago that week."
Spamalot will be produced by Ostar Boyett Productions. The design team features Tim Hatley (set and costume), Hugh Vanstone (lighting), ACME Sound Partners (sound) and Gregory Meeh (special effects). Todd Ellison will serve as musical director and Casey Nicholaw will choreograph.
"I always had in the back of my mind that 'The Grail' would make a good musical," Eric Idle previously told Playbill On-Line (March 2004). "We just took it up and recorded some songs and we sent it to the [other] Pythons and they loved it and said 'Yes, absolutely, go ahead.'"
"We're looking for six major funny people and two major funny women," Idle explained about casting the show. "They play the bulk of everything. One of the essential things about Python theatre is that everybody plays everything."
The original comedy troupe rose to fame with their BBC television show "Monty Python's Flying Circus," then gained international acclaim by turning their sketches and songs into films including "Monty Python's And Now for Something Completely Different," "Monty Python's Life of Brian" and "Monty Python's The Meaning of Life."
As noted on a release, "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."
The world premiere of Monty Python's Spamalot will play a pre-Broadway run at the Shubert Theatre, located at 22 W. Monroe Street in Chicago, IL. Tickets are currently on sale for subscriptions and groups of 20 or more by calling (312) 977 1710.For more information on the Broadway In Chicago season, visit www.broadwayinchicago.com.