Orlando Shakespeare Theater to Stage SPAMALOT, 9/9-10/11
Orlando Shakespeare Theater in Partnership with UCF is pleased to present Monty Python's Spamalot from September 9 - October 11, 2015 in the Margeson Theater. Directed by Artistic Director Jim Helsinger with musical direction by Steve MacKinnon and choreography by Billy Sprague, Jr., the production will headline the Theater's upcoming 27th Season Signature Series. Tickets to Monty Python's SPAMALOT are available now by calling (407) 447-1700 ext. 1, visiting www.orlandoshakes.org, or in person at the John and Rita Lowndes Shakespeare Center (812 East Rollins Street).
Based on the classic film Monty Python and The Holy Grail, this saucy musical parody tells the legendary tale of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. On a quest for the Holy Grail, the Knights encounter flying cows, killer rabbits, and taunting Frenchmen while performing heart-stopping musical numbers. Winner of three Tony Awards including "Best Musical", Monty Python's SPAMALOT takes silliness to a whole new level.
"Following the incredible success of last season's LES MISERABLES, we're excited to present our audiences with something completely different this year," said SPAMALOT Director Jim Helsinger. "Davis Gaines and Michael Hunsaker will reunite on our stage for this hilarious musical, joined by a cast of Broadway sensations and local stars. Be prepared to laugh and sing along on this wild adventure!"
Orlando native and Edgewater High School graduate, Davis Gaines (Javert in LES MISERABLES), returns to the Orlando Shakes stage as King Arthur. Best known for playing the title role in The Phantom of the Opera more than 2,000 times in New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, Gaines remains Los Angeles' longest-running Phantom.
Raised in South Florida and a graduate of Florida State University, Michael Hunsaker (Jean Valjean in LES MISERABLES) plays opposite Gaines once more in the role of Sir Dennis Galahad. Broadway and National Tour credits include Children of Eden, Chess, Chance and Chemistry, and Ragtime. Hunsaker is currently pursuing a Master's degree in Film Production from Full Sail University.
"After a national casting search, we are thrilled to introduce Dee Roscioli as our Lady of the Lake," said Artistic Director Jim Helsinger. "Her Elphaba in Broadway's Wicked was so moving, and I'm certain that her powerhouse vocal abilities will be the cherry on top of this larger-than-life production."
Dee Roscioli is best known for 'defying gravity' in the Wicked First National Tour, as well as the Chicago, San Francisco, and Broadway productions. She holds the record for most appearances as Elphaba. Additional credits include Grizabella in the 2002-2003 Cats National Tour, Pokémon Live National Tour, and as Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd for Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival.
Additional casting includes local favorite T. Robert Pigott as Sir Robin (The Big Bang and Into the Woods). Other appearances include Caboose in the original cast of Starlight Express for Starlight Vegas Co. and Baby John in West Side Story for Austria's Scala Musical Company.
Brad DePlanche (Henry V and It's a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play) joins the cast as Patsy. He has acted in productions across the country including Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival's Around the World in Eighty Days and The Three Musketeers for People's Light.
Philip Nolen appears as Sir Bedevere, following countless Orlando Shakes appearances including Nicholas Nickleby and The Big Bang. The local actor/singer has also been featured at Mad Cow Theatre, Actors Theatre of Louisville, and the New York and Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festivals.
Chris Crawford takes on the roles of Prince Herbert/Historian, following his debut appearance as Fred in 2014's A Christmas Carol. Other credits include Shakespeare Theatre Co.'s Edward II, Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre's The Producers, and Boeing Boeing with TheatreSquared.
Members of the SPAMALOT Ensemble include Keith E. Wilson, Salvatore Vieira, Rashad Guy, Daniel Longacre, Jillian Gizzi, Rebecca Jo Lightfoot-Cross, Kimmi Johnson, Kathryn Miller, Sarah Summerwell, and Corynne Wagener, with additional cast members and the role of Sir Lancelot to be announced at a later date.
Director Jim Helsinger's Orlando Shakes directing credits include The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby, Every Christmas Story Ever Told, A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Compleat Wrks of Wllm Shkspr (Abridged), and many others. Most recently, he's directed the Summer 2015 productions of Much Ado About Nothing at Colorado Shakespeare Festival and Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival's The Foreigner.
Musical Director Steve MacKinnon has previously directed The True Story of the Three Little Pigs, A Night in New Orleans: A Magic Tree House Adventure, and Miss Nelson is Missing for Orlando Shakes. Other local directing credits include Shrek! the Musical, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Pinkalicious, State Fair, Songs For A New World, Avenue Q, Altar Boyz, and Chicago.
Choreographer Billy Sprague, Jr. has previously choreographed Monty Python's SPAMALOT for Musical Theatre West and California Musical Theatre, and directed the musical for Arrow Rock Lyceum Theatre and Music Theatre Wichita. Additional choreography credits include A Christmas Carol: A Musical Ghost Story, South Pacific, and The Calico Buffalo.
The Orlando Shakes artistic team also includes Set Designer Jim Hunter, Lighting Designer Bert Scott, Costume Designer Tim Hatley, Sound Designer Craig Beyrooti, and Video/Projection Designer Andrew Mulkey.
Monty Python's SPAMALOT is presented through the support of Orlando Shakespeare Theater's 27th Season Producing Partners: Alan & Kelly Ginsburg, Ken & Trisha Margeson, John & Rita Lowndes, Albert & Lisa Prast, Kay Ustler, Jim & Diane Barnes, Suzanne Gilbert, Dan Dantin & Frank Santos, Jim & Valerie Shapiro, Bryce West, Gordon & Susan Arkin, Steve Goldman & Melanie Love, Marilyn Goldman, Jack Hanson & Grant Gribble, Francille MacFarland, Lester & Sonia Mandell, Simon & Ellen Snyder, A. Brian Phillips, Jack Lord & Adam Hunter, and Jim & Alexis Pugh. Monty Python's SPAMALOT is sponsored by Massey Services, UCF College of Arts and Humanities, and the UCF Office of the President.
Orlando Shakespeare Theater is supported by United Arts of Central Florida, host of www.power2give.org/centralflorida, and the collaborative Campaign for the Arts. Orlando Shakespeare Theater is also sponsored in part by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture.