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Richard Chamberlain returns in "Monty Python's Spamalot"

Richard Chamberlain has claimed the throne of Monty Python's Spamalot in its return to Chicago this week. Chamberlain, last seen in Chicago in the musical Scrooge is starring as King Arthur in the encore of the Tony Award-winning Best Musical of 2005 at Chicago's Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University, 50 E. Congress Pkwy. Telling the legendary tale of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, and their quest for the Holy Grail, Monty Python's Spamalot features a chorus line of dancing divas and knights, flatulent Frenchmen, killer rabbits and one legless knight. The show runs in Chicago through February 1.

Chamberlain has created a singular position with the world of mini-series, having starred in some of the most dramatic and powerful productions in the history of television. Over the last two decades Chamberlain has starred in six of the most acclaimed mini-series: "Shogun," "Wallenberg," "The Thorn Birds," "The Bourne Identity," "Dreamwest," and "Centennial." "Shogun" earned Chamberlain a Golden Globe Award as Best Actor, as well as an Emmy nomination. He received another Golden Globe Award, Emmy nomination, and a People's Choice Award for his work in "The Thorn Birds."

Richard Chamberlain became a household name overnight in 1961 when he played the title role of Dr. Kildare, a part he played for five years. He has traveled the globe performing in numerous productions on stage, television and in films. He has most recently toured as the title role in the US premier of Scrooge, and played the king in "The King and I" for Hawaii Opera Theatre. On TV Chamberlain has guest starred on "Will & Grace," "Nip/Tuck," "Hustle" and "Desperate Housewives" and has played roles in the movies "The Three Musketeers," "The Four Musketeers," "The Return of the Three Musketeers," "Towering Inferno," "Strength and Honour" and "I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry."

Aside from acting, Chamberlain has long been known for his interest in environmental affairs. He lobbied in Sacramento CA and in Washington D.C. to save the Tuolommne River flowing from Yosemite National Park in California. His efforts helped to win a "Wild and Scenic" designation for the river. He also narrated a widely acclaimed Audubon television special about the poaching of animals in National forests. One of his special projects was an Audubon special about Hawaii's precious ecology. In 1989 he was the principal speaker at the San Francisco Ecological Convention. Richard also narrated cinematographer Don Briggs' film "The Grand Canyon," "Its History" and "Fragile Ecology." He also worked with past Mayor Jeremy Harris in television commercials to educate the public against dumping waste into the storm drains of Honolulu, protecting Hawaii's pristine waters. He has also been very active with the environmental group, The Outdoor Circle in Honolulu. Frequently, he donates his talents to The Honolulu Symphony, doing numerous narrations on classical and contemporary works.

His adventure away from acting has been his love of painting and sculpture. His works can currently be viewed at Celebrity Gallery in Lahaina and Wailea on Maui, as well as on his website.

Lovingly "ripped-off" from the internationally famous comedy team's most popular motion picture, "Monty Python and the Holy Grail," Monty Python's Spamalot is the winner of three 2005 Tony Awards including Best Musical and Best Director (Mike Nichols), as well as the Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle awards for Best Musical. The original cast recording of Monty Python's Spamalot won the 2006 Grammy Award for Best Musical Show Album.

Directed by Mike Nichols, Monty Python's Spamalot features a book by Eric Idle, based on the screenplay of "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" by Monty Python creators Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Michael Palin, with music and lyrics by the Grammy Award-winning team of Mr. Idle and John Du Prez. Casey Nicholaw is the choreographer.

Monty Python isn't a person, but a group of British actors and writers (and one American) that performed their famous comedy show "Monty Python's Flying Circus" on the BBC from 1969 to 1974, with subsequent international fame and success.

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