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Model Sues Spamalot Producer over Billboard Picture

The Shubert Organization, Inc., the producer of Spamalot, has a lawsuit on its hands; 23 year-old Carla Collins, a model from Botswana, is the plaintiff.

According to the Australian paper The Age, Collins is claiming that a billboard at the Shubert Theatre uses a "photograph of her face in a 'foolish, unnatural and undignified' way without her permission to promote the Tony-winning musical." In the picture, Collins is depicted as a busty blond beauty in medieval dress leaning upon a window while puckering her lips and playing with a strand of her hair.

Collins is also a professional saxophonist and actress who is currently enrolled in a New York acting school. She reportedly learned of the billboard after friends glimpsed her face on the facade of the Shubert Theatre. According to her court papers, the picture was taken after a photo session in Cape Town, South Africa; she had thrown the photographer a kiss. Collins' lawyer, Leroy Wilson, also stated that the photo appeared to have been doctored in "the chest area." "The use of Collins' photo 'tends to hold her up to public ridicule and contempt' and has caused her 'great anxiety of mind, humiliation and mortification,' says her lawsuit, which was filed last night," according to the article.

Serino Coyne Inc, the musical's advertising and marketing agency, as well as the Shubert Organization, is the defendant in the case, which "seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages."

Directed by Mike Nichols (Tony Winner for Best Director), Spamalot has a book by Eric Idle, and music and lyrics by John Du Prez and Eric Idle. Spamalot has played to standing-room-only capacity at the Shubert Theatre since opening on March 17th. 

The show currently features Simon Russell Beale, Hank Azaria, David Hyde Pierce, Christopher Sieber, Steve Rosen, Michael McGrath, Christian Borle and Lauren Kennedy as the Lady of the Lake.

A national tour of Spamalot will begin performances in Boston on March 5, 2006 and transfer to the West End on October 2nd.

 Lovingly "ripped-off" from the internationally famous comedy team's Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Spamalot received the 2005 Tony Award for Best Musical as well as Best Director for Nichols and Best Featured Actress in a Musical for Sara Ramirez. It also won the Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle awards for Best Musical. Spamalot boasts choreography by Casey Nicholaw, set and costume design by Tim Hatley, lighting design by Hugh Vanstone and sound design by ACME Sound Partners.

Telling the legendary tale of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, and their quest for the Holy Grail, Monty Python's Spamalot features a chorus line of dancing divas and knights, flatulent Frenchmen, killer rabbits and one legless knight.

For more information on the show, visit www.montypythonsspamalot.com. For tickets to the Broadway production of Spamalot, call 212 239-6200, 800 432-7250 , or visit www.telecharge.com.



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