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Monty Python’s Spamalot at NCT Will Savagely Satirize King Arthur and His Knights

<em>Monty Python's Spamalot</em> at NCT stars Jeff McCarthy (center) as King Arthur and Ta'Rea Campbell as The Lady of the Lake (photo by Curtis Scott Brown)

North Carolina Theatre‘s gala Nov. 15-20 production of Monty Python’s Spamalot stars Jeff McCarthy (center) as King Arthur and Ta’Rea Campbell as The Lady of the Lake (photo by Curtis Scott Brown)

The North Carolina Theatre will stage a zany new production of Monty Python’s Spamalot, the madcap British comedy troupe’s irreverent retelling of the heroic medieval tales of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table, on Nov. 15-20 in Raleigh Memorial Auditorium in the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Raleigh. Spamalot, which is based on the 1975 film Monty Python and the Holy Grail, applies the patented stream-of-consciousness sketch-comedy technique — and sublime silliness — of Monty Python’s Flying Circus (1969-83) to debunking the legends of noble King Arthur and his heroic Knights and their brave, but ultimately futile search for the Holy Grail. The 2005 Broadway and 2006 West End musical, which features music by John Du Prez and Python Eric Idle and book and lyrics by Idle, won the 2005 Tony Award® for Best Musical and two other Tonys, plus the 2005 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding New Musical.

NCT’s rollicking rendition of Monty Python’s Spamalot will star Broadway veterans Jeff McCarthy as King Arthur (“King of the Britons, head of the Round Table, surprisingly good scat singer,” according to the musical’s official website), James Ludwig as Sir Robin (“Brave Sir Robin, the lad who wants to be a knight, but needs help in the bravery department”), and Ta’Rea Campbell as The Lady of the Lake (“Part fairy, part diva, and all woman”).

Their co-stars include Danny Bernardy as Sir Lancelot (“His name is Lancelot, he likes to dance-alot”), Brandon Haagenson as Patsy (“King Arthur’s faithful servant, providing companionship and much needed clip-clopping”); Jacob Smith as Sir Dennis Galahad (“The most handsome knight — once you clean all the s*** off him”); Benny Elledge as Sir Bedevere (“The last of Arthur’s knights — and the one with the worst flatulence”); Pierce Cassedy as the Historian who narrates the show, Not Dead Fred, and Prince Herbert (“One day, the entire kingdom will be his. But first, how about a little showtune?”); and the recorded voice of Python John Cleese as the Voice of God.

The Ensemble includes J.R. Bruno, Leilani Carr, Elise Dwenger, Beth Green, Carly Grissom, Kinsland Howell, Joshua Keen, Ben Lanham, Kelsey Orem, Jack Richardson, Deon Ridley, Jose Rondon, Jr., and Peyton Royal. According to NCT, they will play assorted “roles ranging from rude Frenchmen to Laker Girls to the Knights that say ‘Ni!'”

North Carolina Theatre‘s creative team includes NCT producer Carolee Baxter and artistic director Casey Hushion; director Jennifer Werner; choreographer Brian J. Marcum; music director James Cunningham; technical director Bill Yates, Jr.; lighting designer Craig Stelzenmuller; costumer Lisa Tireman; sound designers Eric Collins and Brian L. Hunt; hair/wig/makeup designer coordinator Liz Printz; and properties manager Aline Johnson. Werner and Marcum previously teamed up for NCT’s 2014 production of Disney’s The Little Mermaid.

After premiering on Jan. 9, 2005 at the Shubert Theatre (now the LaSalle Bank Theatre) in Chicago, Monty Python’s Spamalot made its Broadway debut, directed by Mike Nichols and choreographed by Casey Nicholaw, on March 17, 2005 at the Shubert Theatre, where it played for 1,575 performances before closing on Jan. 11, 2009. The original Broadway cast included Tim Curry as King Arthur, Sara Ramirez as the Lady of the Lake, Christopher Sieber as Sir Dennis Galahad; Hank Azaria as Sir Lancelot; Michael McGrath as Patsy; David Hyde Pierce as Sir Robin; Christian Borle as the Historian who narrates the show and plays Not Dead Fred and Prince Herbert; and Steve Rosen as Sir Bedevere.

The NCT cast for <em>Monty Python's Spamalot</em> includes (from left) James Ludwig, Danny Bernardy, Jacob Smith, Benny Elledge, Jeff McCarthy, and Brandon Haagenson (photo by Curtis Scott Brown)

The NCT cast for Monty Python’s Spamalot includes (from left) James Ludwig, Danny Bernardy, Jacob Smith, Benny Elledge, Jeff McCarthy, and Brandon Haagenson (photo by Curtis Scott Brown)

The North Carolina Theatre presents Monty Python’s SPAMALOT at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 15-18 and 2 and 7:30 p.m. Nov. 19 and 20 in Raleigh Memorial Auditorium in the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts, 2 E. South St., Raleigh, North Carolina 27601.

TICKETS: $23.56-$109.14, except $25 Tickets with your College Student ID.

BOX OFFICE:

NCT Box Office: 919-831-6941, ext. 6944, or http://www.nctheatre.com/tickets/season-tickets.

Ticketmaster: 800-745-3000 or http://www.ticketmaster.com/venueartist/115203/927819.

GROUP RATES (10+ tickets): 919-831-6941, ext. 6949; groups@nctheatre.com; or http://nctheatre.com/groups.

SHOW: http://nctheatre.com/shows/spamalot, https://www.facebook.com/events/637072396458317/, and http://www.dukeenergycenterraleigh.com/event/spamalot-6695.

2016-17 SEASON: http://nctheatre.com/show-season/201516-season.

PRESENTER: http://www.nctheatre.com/, https://www.facebook.com/nctheatre, https://twitter.com/nctheatre, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_Carolina_Theatre, and http://www.youtube.com/user/nctheatre.

NCT BLOG (Stage Notes): http://www.nctheatre.com/stage-notes.

VENUE: http://www.dukeenergycenterraleigh.com/venue/memorial-auditorium and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duke_Energy_Center_for_the_Performing_Arts#Raleigh_Memorial_Auditorium.

DIRECTIONS: http://www.dukeenergycenterraleigh.com/directions.

PARKING: http://www.dukeenergycenterraleigh.com/parking.

NOTE: Arts Access, Inc. of Raleigh will audio-describe the show’s 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 19th, performance.

OTHER LINKS:

Monty Python: http://www.montypython.com/ (official website), https://www.facebook.com/MontyPython (Facebook page), https://twitter.com/montypython (Twitter page), http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monty_Python (Wikipedia), and https://www.youtube.com/user/MontyPython (YouTube channel).

Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975 film): http://www.montypython.com/news_HG40box/198 (official web page), http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0071853/ (Internet Movie Database), and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monty_Python_and_the_Holy_Grail (Wikipedia).

Monty Python’s Spamalot (2005 Broadway and 2006 West End musical): http://www.montypython.com/liveshow_Monty%20Python’s%20Spamalot%20%28from%202005%29/8 (Monty Python web page), https://www.ibdb.com/broadway-show/spamalot-384261 (Internet Broadway Database), and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spamalot (Wikipedia).

Eric Idle (music, lyrics, and book): http://www.ericidle.com/ (official website), http://www.montypython.com/python_Eric_Idle/17 (Monty Python profile), http://www.ibdb.com/person.php?id=76129 (Internet Broadway Database), and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eric_Idle (Wikipedia).

John Du Prez (music): http://www.ibdb.com/person.php?id=384264 (Internet Broadway Database) and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Du_Prez (Wikipedia).

Jennifer Werner (NCT guest director): https://www.ibdb.com/broadway-cast-staff/jennifer-werner-108311 (Internet Broadway Database).

Brian J. Marcum (NCT guest choreographer): https://www.ibdb.com/broadway-cast-staff/brian-j-marcum-46541 (Internet Broadway Database).

EDITOR’S NOTE:

Robert W. McDowell has written articles for The News & Observer, The Raleigh Times, Spectator Magazine, CVNC, and Triangle Arts and Entertainment, all based in Raleigh. He edits and publishes two FREE weekly e-mail newsletters. Triangle Review provides comprehensive, in-depth coverage of local performing-arts events. (Start your FREE subscription by e-mailing robertm748@aol.com and typing SUBSCRIBE TR in the Subject: line.) McDowell also maintains a FREE list of movie sneak previews. (To subscribe, e-mail robertm748@aol.com and type SUBSCRIBE FFL FREE in the Subject: line.)

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Categorised in: Features, Lead Story, Theatre Feature