ROCKPORT — Throughout the State of Maine, schools are making plans to return: returning to classes, to sports, to extra-curricular activities. After a year of having almost everything cancelled due to COVID, both students and teachers are anxious to “get back to normal.” The Delta variant is throwing a curve ball; however, the planning continues (with fingers crossed behind the back).

Camden Hills Regional High School is moving forward with plans to produce a fall musical in the tradition for which it has always been known. CHRHS will be presenting “Monty Python’s 
Spamalot School Edition” with book and lyrics by Eric Idle and music by John Du Prez and Eric Idle. “Spamalot,” as it was seen on Broadway, was known as “A new musical lovingly ripped off from the motion picture ‘Monty Python and the Holy Grail.'” The School Edition version, produced in special arrangement with Theatrical Rights Worldwide (theatricalrights.com), has been slightly reworked from the Broadway script, with edited language, in an effort to make the show more appropriate for high school productions.

Why “Spamalot?” Director Kim Murphy says, “After a year of having no fall musical, and now entering a year where we aren’t truly sure what we will be able to do, the whackiness and offbeat humor of a Monty Python musical – where scenery and personas are constantly changing, and characters find themselves lost and wandering in a ‘very expensive forest’– seems to be the perfect show. Our goal is to make the audience laugh. Plus the off center humor allows for creativity. If we have to perform in masks, we can easily work them into the costumes. If we have to be spaced 3 feet apart, we can work that into the humor. And what’s better than a musical with the theme of ‘Always Look on the Bright Side of Life’?”

Auditions will be held on the evenings of Sept. 7, 8 and 9. Interested students can find the audition information on the school’s Schoology website, under “groups.” If students and/or parents cannot find the information, they should email kim.murphy@fivetowns.net.

The CHRHS production of “Spamalot School Edition” will be directed by Murphy, with assistant direction and choreography by Gretchen Henderson, musical direction by Craig Ouellette and Joani Mitchell, technical direction by Kailey Smith and Tom Heath, assistant choreography by Lauren Zontini, set design by student Brian Bland, lighting design by student Oliver Worner, production details by Jane Self, and costuming by a band of community sewers. Show dates are planned for Nov. 5, 6, 12, 13 at 7 p.m. with a family show on Nov. 10 at 6 p.m. There are tentative plans to stream the show if COVID mitigations are tightened; but the cast and directors hope that they will be able to produce the show for a live, and laughing, audience.