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"Spamalot" Serves Up Laughs

Recognize the names of these hilarious comedy terrorists, Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Michael Palin? Each one's a genius but collectively, as Monty Python , they created a sensation in England, starting in 1969, and subsequently conquered the U.S. and the rest of the world. Locally, you can catch their lunacy when "Spamalot," the Broadway musical "lovingly ripped-off" from their hugely popular film, "Monty Python and the Holy Grail," arrives for a New Year's engagement at New Haven's Shubert Theater. Winner of three 2005 Tony Awards including Best Musical and Best Director, Mike Nichols , as well as the Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle awards for Best Musical, "Spamalot" passes all authenticity litmus tests. It was written by Monty Python member Eric Idle, and based on the film's screenplay by the original gang of Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Michael Palin. Music and lyrics were contributed by the Grammy Award-winning team of Idle and John Du Prez. And if sheer silliness seems too frivolous, see "Spamalot" for its built in history lesson. The show follows King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, and their quest for the Holy Grail. However, the story's previously unheard of chorus line of dancing divas and knights, flatulent Frenchmen, killer rabbits and one legless knight might -- or might not -- be authentic but do add to the mayhem. "Spamalot" runs from Dec. 29 through Jan. 2. Tickets are $15-$75. For performance times and more information, visit the Shubert's website .

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