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Dinner Theater

Fri., Nov. 11, 2011, midnight

Expect to laugh a lot when ‘ Spamalot’ returns to the INB stage

This is the second visit of “Monty Python’s Spamalot” to Spokane - the first was in 2009 - so maybe audiences will be better prepared tonight when the curtain goes up on the Finnish Cheese Council production of “The Fisch Schlapping Song,” which features:

Finnish people slapping each other with herrings.

The East Finland Moose Ballet, in “the greatest display of horn ever seen on the American stage.”

This time around, we’ll know this is merely creator Eric Idle’s inspired opening gag. It’s all a set-up for the announcer’s agitated correction, “I said, England, not Finland,” and the true launch of this fractured telling of the King Arthur story.

Meanwhile, audiences should also be prepared for one of the funniest stage musicals of the decade.

“Monty Python’s Spamalot” is the 2005 Tony-winning musical “lovingly ripped off” from the classic film comedy, “Monty Python and the Holy Grail.”

Fans of that movie - and they are legion - will recognize many of the lines and situations: horsemen clip-clopping around with coconut shells, cows that fall from the sky, attacks of the killer rabbits and knights who say “Ni.”

Knowing the movie by heart is by no means necessary to enjoying ” Spamalot.” But it certainly helps to have a Monty Python-style sense of humor, with an appreciation for surrealism, absurdity and just plain goofiness.

Here are a few things you’ll see in ” Spamalot”:

A jaunty ode to the plague, titled “I Am Not Dead Yet.”

The Black Knight being, literally, cut down to size.

A parody of a stock musical-theater love ballad, titled “The Song That Goes Like This.”

A Lady of the Lake number starring a bunch of dancers dressed as cheerleaders. Why? Because they’re the Laker Girls, that’s why.

The first time around, the national tour played eight delirious performances at the INB Performing Arts Center.

This is a one-night-only visit, included as an add-on to the regular Best of Broadway subscription series. It’s perfect for those who didn’t catch it the first time - or those who have been craving another viewing since that first fisch was schlapped.

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