The Big Three

March 01, 2007

THEATER

'SPAMALOT'

Baltimoreans -- and Monty Python fans in particular -- can look on the bright side beginning Tuesday when Spamalot opens a two-week run at the Hippodrome Theatre.

Billed as "lovingly ripped off" from the 1975 movie Monty Python and the Holy Grail, the Tony Award-winning musical offers the British comedy troupe's off-kilter account of the legendary King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, complete with such Python trademarks as killer bunnies, coconut-induced sound effects, knights who say "ni" and, of course, the ever-cheerful number, "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life."

The script is by Python veteran Eric Idle, who also co-wrote the score with John Du Prez. Under Mike Nichols' direction, the cast is headed by Michael Siberry as King Arthur, Pia Glenn as the Lady of the Lake and Patrick Heusinger as Sir Lancelot.

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Showtimes at the Hippodrome, 12 N. Eutaw St., are 8 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays and 6:30 p.m. Sundays, with matinees at 2 p.m. Saturdays and 1 p.m. Sundays, through March 18. Tickets are $34-$79. Call 410-547-SEAT or go to BroadwayAcrossAmerica.com.

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[J. WYNN ROUSUCK]

CIRCUS

UNDER THE BIG TOP

Come one, come all to Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey's "Circus of Dreams." The 136th edition of "The Greatest Show on Earth" is bringing 85 performers and more than 70 domestic and exotic animals to the 1st Mariner Arena Wednesday through March 18. Former American Idol finalist Jennifer Fuentes leads the cast as storyteller and ringmaster.

This show also promises to be more interactive and up-close than others before it. Bring the kids an hour early to the free All-Access Pre-Show, where they can meet the stars of the circus and get into CircusFit, an exercise program that teaches circus skills through stretching, strength-building and aerobics.

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The circus is in town Wednesday through March 18 at the 1st Mariner Arena, 201 W. Baltimore St. Tickets are $14-$24. A limited number of VIP ($40), front-row ($50) and "Circus Celebrity" ($65) tickets are available. For show times or tickets, call 410-547-SEAT or go to ticketmaster.com or ringling.com.

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[CHRISTINA LEE]

PERFORMANCE

DAZZLING ACROBATICS

Tomorrow night, the Peking Acrobats, a troupe of gymnasts, tumblers, cyclists and jugglers, return to the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall with a family-friendly demonstration of their prowess.

The group presents feats of disciplines that have been practiced for 2,000 years. One of these stunts is "The Human Chair Stack," in which seven acrobats balance on eight chairs.

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The show starts at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, 1212 Cathedral St. Tickets are $25-$45. Call 410-783-8000 or go to baltimore symphony.org.

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[CHRISTINA LEE]

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