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Students bring Monty Python inspired musical to life


King Arthur is played by Hayden Buss with Patsy played by Chris Vlamakis in USU Eastern’s production of “Spamalot.” Utah State University Eastern’s theatre season begins with “Spamalot,” which opens this weekend Oct. 4-6, and continues on Oct. 8, 10-13 at 7:30 p.m. in The Geary Events Center.


With book and lyrics written by Monty Python alum Eric Idle, and music composer and Lyricist John DuPrez, they musically bring to life King Arthur and his outrageous search for the Holy Grail as they come across a bevy of beautiful showgirls, not to mention cows, killer rabbits, Knights who say “NI” and French people. Did we mention the bevy of beautiful showgirls? 
 “Spamalot” ran over 1,500 performances on Broadway from March 2006 to January 2009 and seen by two million people.
 Eastern’s production features a new talented director to put his stamp on the Geary stage, Brent Innes, who is known for his incredible set designs and builds. Stepping outside his box, Innes said he is thrilled, excited and terrified to take on this task.
“I have honestly never had any aspirations to direct, as I am not one who normally enjoys the spotlight, I am usually the guy behind the scenes making the magic, so this is a little bit of a different role for me. That said, I have immensely enjoyed this ride in the director’s chair, working with this very talented group of students and friends.
“Our current social and political climate has made us as a society, an angry and uptight group of people with little to no sense of humor. We are afraid to laugh in fear of offending someone. We seem to have lost the ability to smile and chuckle at this little thing called the human condition. I believe If we lose our sense of humor, we are left with nothing but social bitterness and that, dear friends, we cannot abide.
Humor and laughter is good for the soul, and that is why you need to see our production of “Spamalot,’” Innes said.
 Theatre department chair, Corey Ewan Ph.D., knows that Innes “is easily up to the task, as demonstrated by his help with past productions.  There is a lot of Brent on our stages.”
Ewan plays the father, French Taunter and Minstrel in the production and said this is the silliest play he has been involved in and is having a blast in the rehearsals. “The best part about being in this play is I get to be on stage with a former student.” He said most the cast plays multiple rolls in the production
The new costume designer at USU Eastern, Mandolynn Browning, has spent the past five weeks sewing and creating costumes for the cast.
“It’s been a dream to have a costume designer at Eastern,” Ewan said. “Both Brent and I can be doing things we are supposed to do and not worry about getting costumes for the cast.”
Another plus about having Browning on the set is she is brilliant, talented and great to collaborate with, Ewan said.
 “Spamalot’s” cast included John Behn as the historian; Hayden Buss, King Arthur; Chris Vlamakis, Pasty; Ali Hugguard, Lady; Dave Hocanson, SirRobin; Mick Skelly, Sir Lancelot; Rick Tobin, Sir Galahad; Vincent Nelson, Sir Bedevere; Mac Cottom, Not Dead Fred/Herbert; Ted Cartwright, Tim the Enchanter; Liz Neilson, Mother of Dennis; and Charles Turner, Concord.
Shalyley Cartwright, Kelsey McCord, Kaitlyn Cave, Alicia Austin and Keyara Price, play the Laker Girls.
Morgan Innes, Nate Smith, Aubree Guyman, Karly Bowles, Rosie Wichmann, Bethany Prettyman and Ellie deMie, are in the Ensemble.

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