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Las Vegas Spotlight: July 2008

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Justin Brill and John O'Hurley
in Monty Python's Spamalot
(© Carol Rosegg)
The search for the Holy Grail ends on July 13, when Monty Python's Spamalot closes at the Wynn. Although it fared better than some of the other Broadway transfers, having lasted nearly a year and a half, Spamalot was not the mega-hit it was intended to be. Its failure to find a foothold is a bit of a surprise given that the musical's glitzy look and familiar material made it seem ideal for Vegas.

This month the Musical Actors Theatre takes on The Will Rogers Follies (July 3-August 2), the 1991 Tony Award winner for Best Musical originally directed and choreographed by Tommy Tune. With music by Cy Coleman, lyrics by Comden & Green, and a book by Peter Stone, the musical tells the life story of folksy humorist (and frequent Ziegfeld Follies performer) Rogers in a showy revue format that includes everything from rope tricks to big production numbers. Choreographed by guest artist Dana Moore, the show will play at the Summerlin Performing Arts Library.

For July, Super Summer Theatre (in conjunction with Stage Door Entertainment) is putting on the ultimate American musical, 1776 (July 9-26). Celebrate a belated Independence Day out at Spring Mountain Ranch watching John Adams, Tom Jefferson, Ben Franklin, and the gang all work to found the nation in this brilliant musical about the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

Ever wished that The Phantom of the Opera focused more on Madame Giry's pretty little dancers and less on that freak in the basement? Well, July 5 is your lucky day. The dancers from the Vegas production of Phantom are appearing in HOPE: An Afternoon of Classical Ballet, a benefit for Family Promise of Las Vegas (an organization that helps local homeless families), held at the Clark County Library Theater.

Following its smash success with Cannibal the Musical!, the Insurgo Theater Movement completely switches gears to take on that summer mainstay A Midsummer Night's Dream (July 18-August 9) at the Onyx Theatre. Shakespeare's comedy follows the romantic entanglements of foolish mortals and meddling fairies during an enchanted night in the woodland realm. John Beane directs, Jarryd Lowder provides soundscapes, and the cast is headed by Paul Besterman, Johnny Miles, Brandon McClenahan, Cynthia Vodovoz, Heather Chamberlain, TJ Larsen, Shawn Hackler, and Jaime Jones.

Beginning July 26, Atlas Theatre Ensemble will present its new show, Feed the Monkey!, at the Onyx on the last Saturday of each month. Monkey! is an outrageous sketch comedy show starring Scott Johnson, Lori Kay, Vlad Kolenic, Jillian Pizzuto, Jon Paul Raniola, Ryan Remark, and Enoch Augustus Scott.

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