Pop Idle: Spamalot Creator Picks iTunes for "Celebrity Playlists"; Cast Album in Top 10

News   Pop Idle: Spamalot Creator Picks iTunes for "Celebrity Playlists"; Cast Album in Top 10 Eric Idle — the Monty Python member who created the current Broadway musical Spamalot — is among the "Celebrity Playlists" featured for this week on Apple's iTunes.

The comedian-turned-Broadway musicalmaker chose 11 songs from various rock and pop artists including Paul Simon's "Late In the Evening," Bob Dylan's "Moonlight," The Rolling Stones' "Far Away Eyes," Joe Cocker's "With a Little Help from My Friends" and "Are You Lonesome Tonight?" by Elvis Presley — whose music also currently plays on the Broadway boards in All Shook Up. And, Idle also throws in a "Monty Python" choice, "Sit on My Face," as he puts it, "For the sentiment."

Idle provides Spamalot with a new score, co-composed by John Du Prez ("A Fish Called Wanda"), and its libretto, "lovingly ripped-off" from the screenplay of "Monty Python and the Holy Grail." The screenplay was co-written with Monty Python creators Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones and Michael Palin.

The original Broadway cast recording for Spamalot is currently listed among in the top 10 of the "Top 100 Albums" downloaded through the Apple-based Music Store. It also ranks as the #2 album in the soundtrack genre. (Wicked still holds in the top ten at #8.)

Mike Nichols ("The Graduate," "Angels in America") directs the new musical inspired by the 1975 feature film comedy which landed at Broadway's Shubert Theatre Feb. 14 toward a March 17 opening.

Spamalot tells the tale of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table on their quest from God (voiced by a familiar actor) for the Holy Grail — with a short stop in the dazzling Spam-filled land of Camelot. The show boasts "a chorus line of dancing divas and knights, flatulent Frenchmen, killer rabbits and one legless knight" who sing and dance. (Python devotees will be happy to know The Knights Who Say "Ni!" also make an appearance.) The new musical stars Tim Curry (The Rocky Horror Show, "Clue") as King Arthur, David Hyde Pierce ("Frasier," The Heidi Chronicles) as Sir Robin, Hank Azaria ("The Birdcage," Sexual Perversity in Chicago) as Sir Lancelot, Christopher Seiber (Into The Woods) as Sir Galahad, Michael McGrath (Wonderful Town) as Patsy et al., Steve Rosen (The Golem) as Sir Bedevere and Sara Ramirez (A Class Act) as The Lady of the Lake.

Previous "Celebrity Playlists" have included choices by such stage stars as composer Andrew Lloyd Webber (The Phantom of the Opera), Donny Osmond (Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat), Peter Gallagher (Guys and Dolls), Edward Norton (Burn This), Harmony composer Barry Manilow, Kevin Bacon (An Almost Holy Picture) and Avenue Q's Rod.

Apple iTunes users can access the iTunes home, "Celebrity Playlists" and chart topper information via the "Music Store" option on their players or through the website at www.apple.com/itunes.

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