England 932 A.D. A Kingdom divided. To the West the Anglo-Saxons, to the East the French. Above nothing but Celts and some people from Scotland. In Gwynned, Powys, and Dyfed - Plague. In the kingdoms of Wessex, Sussex, Essex and Kent - Plague. In Mercia and the two Anglias - Plague. With a 50% chance of pestilence and famine coming out of the Northeast at twelve miles per hour. Legend tells us of an extraordinary leader, who arose from the chaos, to unite a troubled kingdom. A man with a vision who gathered Knights together in a Holy Quest. This man was Arthur, King of the Britons. For this was England!Synopsis complet
Previews of the show began in Chicago's Shubert Theatre (now the Bank of America Theatre) on 21 December 2004; the show officially opened there on 9 January 2005.
Two musical numbers were dropped from Act One while the production was still in Chicago. During the scene set in the "Witch Village", the torch song "Burn Her!" was originally performed by Sir Bedevere, The Witch, Sir Robin, Lance and Villagers. At the French Castle, "The Cow Song", in a parody of a stereotypical film noir/cabaret style, was performed by The Cow and French Citizens. Before the two songs were cut in Chicago, the lead vocals in both songs were sung by Sara Ramirez. This gave her six songs in Act One, but no further appearances until scene five in Act Two, for "The Diva's Lament".
The musical previewed on Broadway, at New York's Shubert Theatre, beginning 14 February 2005, and, after some changes, officially opened on 17 March 2005. Mike Nichols directed, and Casey Nicholaw choreographed. The production won the Tony Award for Best Musical and was nominated for 14 Tony Awards. The show played its final performance on 11 January 2009 after 35 previews and 1,575 performances; it was seen by more than two million people and grossed over $175 million, recouping its initial production costs in under six months.
The original Broadway cast included Tim Curry as King Arthur, Michael McGrath as Patsy, David Hyde Pierce as Sir Robin, Hank Azaria as Sir Lancelot and other roles (e.g., the French Taunter, Knight of Ni, and Tim the Enchanter), Christopher Sieber as Sir Galahad and other roles (e.g., the Black Knight and Prince Herbert's Father), and Sara Ramirez as the Lady of the Lake. It also included Christian Borle as Prince Herbert and other roles (e.g., the Historian and Not Dead Fred), Steve Rosen as Sir Bedevere and other roles (e.g., Concorde and Dennis's Mother) and John Cleese as the (recorded) Voice of God.
West End and UK tour
A London production opened at the Palace Theatre on Shaftesbury Avenue in the West End, commencing 30 September 2006 (London première 17 October) with tickets on sale booking to November 2008. Curry reprised his Broadway rôle as King Arthur until December, with Beale taking over from January. Sieber also reprised his rôle as Sir Galahad before leaving in early 2007, replaced by Graham McDuff. Hannah Waddingham was cast as the Lady of the Lake, Tom Goodman-Hill as Sir Lancelot, Robert Hands as Sir Robin, David Birell as Patsy, Tony Timberlake as Sir Bedevere and Darren Southworth as Prince Herbert. Notable cast replacements have included Peter Davison and Bill Ward in 2007 and, briefly, Marin Mazzie, in early 2008. Sanjeev Bhaskar took over from Alan Dale as the last King Arthur (23 June 2008 onwards). The London production closed on 3 January 2009. The show was revived on the West End for seven weeks during the summer of 2012 and played for a limited time at the Harold Pinter Theatre (using some of the costumes, sets, and actors from the UK Tour). Marcus Brigstocke (who had appeared on the tour) shared the role of King Arthur with Jon Culshaw for those seven weeks. The production moved to the Playhouse Theatre on 4 November 2012, and continues to play there.
• "Historian's Introduction to Act I" – Historian
• "Finland" / "Fisch Schlapping Dance" – Mayor and Company
• "Monk's Chant" – Company
• "King Arthur's Song" – King Arthur, Patsy*
• "I Am Not Dead Yet" – Not Dead Fred, Lance, Robin, and Bodies
• "Come With Me" – King Arthur, Lady of the Lake, and Laker girls
• "Laker Girls Cheer" – Laker Girls
• "The Song That Goes Like This" – Sir Galahad and Lady of the Lake
• "All for One" – King Arthur, Patsy, Sir Robin, Sir Lancelot, Sir Galahad and Sir Bedevere
• "Knights of the Round Table" – Company
• "The Song That Goes Like This" (Reprise) – Lady of the Lake
• "Find Your Grail" – Lady of the Lake and Company
• "Run Away!" – Company The Intermission**
• "Historian's Introduction to Act II" – Historian
• "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life" – Patsy, King Arthur, Knights, and Knights of Ni
• "Brave Sir Robin" – Sir Robin and Minstrels
• "You Won't Succeed On Broadway" – Sir Robin and Ensemble
• "The Diva's Lament (Whatever Happened to My Part?)" – Lady of the Lake
• "Where Are You?" – Prince Herbert
• "Here Are You" – Prince Herbert
• "His Name is Lancelot" – Sir Lancelot, Prince Herbert, and Ensemble
• "I'm All Alone" – King Arthur, Patsy, and Knights
• "Twice in Every Show" – Lady of the Lake and King Arthur
• "The Holy Grail" – King Arthur, Patsy, Sir Robin, Sir Lancelot, Sir Galahad, Sir Bedevere, and Knights*
• "Act II Finale" – Company
• "Always Look On the Bright Side of Life" – Company and Audience
*Does not appear on the Original cast album.
**On the cast album but not in the show itself.
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