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Killer rabbits storm TBPAC

Killer rabbits, “the dark, but very expensive, forest,” a legless knight and the Tony Award for Best Musical all add up to Monty Python’s Spamalot.

Touring for the first time, audiences can expect to see the French taunters who hurl farm animals and the Knights Who Say “Ni!” – both features of the beloved cult classic Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

After all, the performance is – as stated in the lengthy subtitle – “lovingly ripped off” from the movie, but you don’t have to be a fan of the film to enjoy this exuberant show.

The tale of King Arthur (Michael Siberry) – who, with his knights of the round table, received a divine command to search for the Holy Grail – is the source of many retellings. Spamalot may be the most brilliant version to cross the stage. The set is lavish, the songs are just as funny as the script and, at some points of the plot was allowed to be fully developed.

The musical gives a bigger part to the Lady of the Lake (Pia C. Glenn), once a nominal nymph rising from the depths to deliver the legendary sword Excalibur to Arthur, thus granting him kingship over the Britons. In Spamalot, the Lady of the Lake and her chorus line of scantily clad “Laker” girls are instrumental in gathering knights to Arthur’s service. She is also given the inspirational song “Find Your Grail” and the livid “Diva’s Lament (Whatever Happened to My Part?).”

Despite the changes, fans of the British comedy troupe Monty Python will recognize the songs “Brave Sir Robin” and “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life,” the latter a song performed by the faithful servant Patsy when all seems lost to King Arthur. Fans will also notice the exclusion of some of the film’s scenes, such as the castle of female spanking enthusiasts and the oft-quoted Bridge of Death questions.Eric Idle, a member of the original Monty Python group, wrote the book and lyrics and co-wrote the music with composer John Du Prez.

New songs include “The Song That Goes Like This” and “Burn Her,” which takes the witch-burning scene from the film and turns it into a musical number.

The song “You Won’t Succeed on Broadway” seems like an inside joke now that Spamalot has had 14 nominations (and three wins) for the Tony Awards and is still running strong on Broadway.

The cast finds themselves playing several minor roles in between their big scenes: Sir Lancelot doubles as a French taunter, and Sir Galahad is put into the dark armor of The Black Knight.

The play is a blend of the tried-and-true comedy of the film and a sense of the tongue-in-cheek, we’ll-try-anything-once, inside-joke style that made Monty Python famous. Both enthusiasts and newcomers to the wry humor of these clever, crazy Brits will adore Spamalot for its witty wordplay, first-class comedy and songs that will be stuck in their heads for days.