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Laugh a lot at RTG’s “Spamalot”


“Monty Python’s Spamalot,” an outlandish musical comedy lovingly ripped off from the 1975 cult classic film “Monty Python and the Holy Grail,” brings another Racine Theatre Guild season to a fun close. Winner of multiple Tony Awards, including Best Musical, “Spamalot” plays May 15-31 at the Guild, 2519 Northwestern Avenue (Highway 38) in Racine.

Possibly one of the silliest musicals ever written (by Eric Idle with John DuPrez), though always entertaining, this highly irreverent parody follows King Arthur and his tap-dancing Knights of the Round Table as they embark on a madcap quest. Along the way they’re sidetracked by comedic bits involving chanting monks, flying cows, killer rabbits, accused witches and taunting Frenchmen. There are hilariously absurd, show-stopping musical numbers, including “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life,” “The Song That Goes Like This,” and “He is Not Dead Yet.”

Monty Python is a well-known British surreal comedy group that created the sketch comedy TV show "Monty Python's Flying Circus." Broadcast by the BBC from 1969 to 1974, "Flying Circus" was conceived, written and performed by Monty Python’s Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Michael Palin. The Python phenomenon spawned touring stage shows, films, numerous albums, several books, and this stage musical.

The original 2005 Broadway production, directed by Mike Nichols, was a big, boisterous hit. It received 14 Tony nominations and won three Tony Awards. During its initial run of over 1,500 performances, it was seen by more than 2 million people and grossed over $175 million.

With most playing multiple quirky roles, RTG has 22 in its cast: Jason Aaron, Olivia Burns, Noah Chartrand, Lauren Haumersen, Matt Hoye, Davidson Kane, Zach Kirchenwitz, Mike Kishline, Rebecca Kishline, Michael P. Kroes, Rob Kroes, Mary Kveton, Dan Martino, Ashley Mulder, Elissa Richardson, Frank Russ, Brian J. Schalk, Patrick Schneider, Isabella Smetana, Rebecca Weaver, Paul Weir and Eric Welch.

Directing the production is the Racine Theatre Guild’s Managing and Artistic Director Doug Instenes. Gregory Berg is music director and Kara Ernst-Schalk is choreographer. Sarah Hunt-Frank designed the set. Mona Lewis heads the volunteer crew as production stage manager, with Eric Guttenberg serving as stage manager.

Sponsored by Rasmussen Diamonds, performances of “Spamalot” run from May 15-31. There are shows on each of the three weekends at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday evenings and at 2 p.m. Sunday afternoons. There are Saturday matinees at 2 p.m. on May 23 and 4 p.m. on May 30, as well as 7 p.m. shows on Sunday, May 24, and Thursday, May 28.

“Spamalot” ticket prices for 7 p.m. performances are $15 for adults, $13 for seniors (62 and older), and $10 for students (21 and younger); at all other times tickets cost $19/$17/$14. Discounts are available to subscribers and groups of 12 or more. The show is not recommended for children

The RTG box office at 2519 Northwestern Ave. is open 12 to 6 p.m. on weekdays, and 90 minutes prior to curtain through intermission at performances. For tickets, call 262-633-4218 or order online at "Calendar" tab (note: discounts cannot be applied to online orders).

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Knights of Ni



Theatre Guild has Auditions May 26 & 27 for Cheeky Comedy “Calendar Girls”


The Racine Theatre Guild announces open auditions on May 26 and 27 for “Calendar Girls,” a funny and poignant play adapted from the 2003 hit film that starred Helen Mirren and Julie Walthers. Rehearsals begin in August and performances run three weekends in September, the 11th through the 27th.

Based on a true story, “Calendar Girls,” by Tim Firth, premiered on stage in 2009 and became the fastest selling play in British theatre history. Friends Annie and Chris, the play’s central characters, resolve to raise money for the local hospital after Annie’s husband dies of leukemia. They manage to persuade fellow members of their club, who are ordinary women, to join them in posing nude, with some strategically placed props, for an “alternative” calendar. News of their charitable venture spreads like wildfire, and hordes of press soon descend on their small village. The calendar is a success, but Chris and Annie’s friendship is put to the test under the strain of their new-found fame.

The play has roles for nine women, ages 20s to 70s, and four men, 20s to 60. RTG cast members will be featured in a suggested-nude calendar, similar to the one in the play. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to a local charity.

Auditions are at the Racine Theatre Guild (lobby entrance), beginning promptly at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, May 26, and Wednesday, May 27. Please note: there are no auditions on Memorial Day, Monday, May 25. Appointments are not being taken. Auditions will consist of cold readings from the script. Scripts may be checked out in advance from the box office.

The Racine Theatre Guild is a nonprofit community (amateur) theatre that offers a wide range of entertainment and enrichment opportunities year-round. For more information, call the box office at 262-633-4218 between noon and 6 p.m. on weekdays.