Monday, June 21, 2010

Spamalot comes to Music Circus


The Sacramento Music Circus production of Monty Python's "Spamalot," opening at the Wells Fargo Pavilion on July 9, will mark a few firsts. It will be the first time a regional theatre has been given the rights to produce the Tony Award-winning best musical. It will also be the first time the musical has been produced in the round. And significantly for the region's largest arts organization, it will be the first time in its history that California Musical Theatre has hosted a regional theatre premiere. But among the firsts, there is another milestone. "Spamalot" will be the 500th opening night for Music Circus at the corner of 15th and H Streets.

From the opening of "Show Boat" in 1951, the Music Circus tent -- and for the last seven seasons the Wells Fargo Pavilion -- has seen the evolution of the American musicals from light operas like "The Merry Widow," "Naughty Marietta" and "The Desert Song" to the great standards of the Broadway stage like "Oklahoma!," "My Fair Lady" and "Fiddler on the Roof" to contemporary favorites like "Les Misérables," "Beauty and the Beast" and, of course, "Spamalot." Over the decades, Music Circus hosted a series of concerts (36 in total), that included the top stage entertainers of the era: Bob Hope, Robert Goulet, Mitzi Gaynor, Jim Nabors, Marlene Dietrich and Liberace to name a few.

Of course the timing of the 500th opening with "Spamalot" and the 60th season is just a happy coincidence. "We couldn't have engineered it this way," Executive Producer Richard Lewis said. "When we put together our season, we endeavor to produce the best shows with the best actors on the stage. The 500th opening gives us another reason to celebrate 60 years of Music Circus in Sacramento. I'm very proud of the work we do here. I only wish we knew how many audience members we've served in all that time, but unfortunately we don't have those records. That would be something to celebrate. It's probably 6 or 7 million."

From 1983 through 1991, Music Circus presented 13 national tours at the Community Center Theater. Those tours, a precursor to the Broadway Sacramento season, are not included as part of the 500 openings at Music Circus.

"Spamalot" opens July 9 for a 13-performance run ending July 18. The season continues with "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" (July 20-25), "Oklahoma!" (July 27-August 1), "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels" (August 3-8), "Funny Girl" (August 10-15), "The Marvelous Wonderettes" (August 17-22) and "42nd Street" (August 24-29)

Tickets ($41-$53) are available at the Wells Fargo Pavilion Box Office, 1419 H Street, Sacramento, or by calling (916) 557-1999. For more information about the season, please visit

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