A hilarious Tony Award-winning musical comedy born from a classic Monty Python movie, "Spamalot" will be staged by the Department of Theatre and Dance at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point Nov. 10-12 and 15-18.
Adapted from the 1975 film "Monty Python and the Holy Grail," "Spamalot" parodies the legend of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table as well as other Broadway musicals and well-known Monty Python skits. Python actor Eric Idle wrote the play and lyrics and co-wrote the music with John Du Prez. The 2005 Broadway production won three Tony Awards, including Best Musical, and received 14 Tony Award nominations.
"'Spamalot' includes all the things we love about the 'Holy Grail' film, from the Black Knight to the killer rabbit," said Assistant Professor Mark Hanson, the show's director. "It has all of the characters and fun, as well as Broadway songs that include the clichés of musicals. It pays homage to all we love about musical theater."
Filled with fun, silly song and dance numbers, such as "Run Away," "I am Not Dead Yet" and "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life," the show features choreography by Dance Professor Jeannie Hill and musical direction by Assistant Professor Alan Patrick Kenny. Assistant Professor Jared Hanlin is helping as a dialect and fight scene coach.
Hill has enjoyed creating choreography that references or reinterprets other Broadway musicals in a witty, fun way. She has also been working with sophomore dance major and castmember Megan Carver as her assistant choreographer.
"Megan's contributions have been invaluable," she said. "She is an excellent dance captain who is able to hold all the steps and patterns of the show and work with her peers to refine them."
Other student cast members are meeting the challenges of playing multiple roles, using cockney accents and having the comedic timing and the accuracy needed in a show where many audience members know the jokes and phrases by heart. Students are also creating the lighting, stage, sound, makeup, some costumes and a variety of wigs.
Expect a few surprises and audience participation, Hanson said.
"There's some give and take between the cast and audience," he said, "which makes for a fun and energized performance. The cast is having a ball and is excited to perform the show."
Tickets are $24 for adults and seniors and $14 for age 17 and under. Tickets are available at the UW-Stevens Point Information and Tickets Office, located in the Dreyfus University Center concourse, by calling 715-346-4100 or at http://tickets.uwsp.edu. Tickets are also available for the First Nighters package on Friday, Nov. 10, which includes dinner before the performance.