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NKU Theatre Goes 'Crazy Big, Just Plain Crazy' with Spamalot

NKU Theatre is looking on the bright side of life with “Monty Python’s SPAMALOT” bringing musical madness to the Northern Kentucky University main stage from April 17-27. 
 
Lovingly adapted and expanded from the classic film comedy “Monty Python and the Holy Grail,” “Spamalot” irreverently recounts the legend of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table, on the hunt for the Holy Grail. 
 
They encounter, among other things, a giant rabbit, a legless knight, a sojourn in Las Vegas, a taunting Frenchman -- in other words, it’s right up Ken Jones’ alley. 
 
The chair of NKU’s Theatre & Dance Department directs the show, which is crazy big and just plain crazy. “Flying people, things blowing up...” Jones reports happily. When he’s not directing, Jones is carving an enormous foot (6x10 ft.) out of Styrofoam, giving an assist to the army of students working on the show’s production design. (The show is so big set pieces fill not just backstage but line hallways.)
 
“Spamalot” borrows the old (sing-along “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life” comes from Monty Python’s “Life of Brian”) and celebrates the new, skewering pop culture and taking a bat to the worst cliches of Broadway. 
 
The score has been expanded with book and lyrics by Python alum Eric Idle, and music by John Du Prez. You can listen for a little Manilow, the iconic “The Lumberjack Song” and musical spoofing aplenty.
 
Jones is definitely the man to bring “Spamalot” to the NKU stage. His many NKU hits include “Urinetown,” “Bye, Bye Birdie” and the world premiere of “Heart Attack with a Knife,” which he polished into dazzling lunacy. 
 
“I love over-the-top,” Jones says gleefully. “As long as you’re precise, you can never be too big.”
 
Performances are 8 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday. Tickets $14, seniors (60+) $11, students (with a valid ID) $8. For more information call the NKU Fine Arts Box Office at 859-572-5464 or visit www.Theatre.nku.edu.
 
Written by Jackie Demaline, RCN contributor
 
Photo provided