‘Spamalot’ inks cast

Azaria makes B'way debut in Python tuner

This article was updated at 4:47 p.m.

Richard Burton, Robert Goulet and Julie Andrews they are not.

Which is why David Hyde Pierce, Tim Curry and Hank Azaria are headlining “Spamalot,” and not “Camelot,” on Broadway this winter.

Ostar Boyett Prods. announced the starry lineup for its tuner, based on the 1975 film comedy “Monty Python and the Holy Grail.” In the legit version, the roles of Sir Robin, King Arthur and Sir Lancelot will be played by, respectively, Pierce, Curry and Azaria, who makes his Broadway debut with the project.

Pierce last appeared on Broadway in 1989 in “The Heidi Chronicles.” Curry headlined the musical “My Favorite Year” in 1992 and “The Rocky Horror Show” in 1975.

No conflict

On the King Arthur front, “Spamalot” won’t be battling “Camelot” for ticket buyers this theater season. Although it was never officially announced, a revival of the Lerner & Loewe musical was being readied for summer 2004 with Liam Neeson in the lead. Early in that production’s planning stages, an attorney associated with the classic tuner fired off a letter to Monty Python’s Eric Idle, who was busy writing his “Spamalot” book and songs (with John Du Prez). The missive pointed out the “unfortunate” similarity of the two titles.

Idle remained steadfast. “Surely only an idiot could confuse ‘Camelot’ and ‘Spamalot,’ ” he said.

At present, the King Arthur legend is getting only one musical this Broadway season, and it is called “Spamalot.” The title is derived from a line in the movie version: “I eat jam, and ham and Spam a lot.”

“Spamalot” will be Mike Nichols’ sophomore tuner effort as the helmer of a Broadway musical, his first being “The Apple Tree” in 1966.

Previews of the Monty Python show begin Feb. 7, with the opening set for March 10 at the Shubert Theater. The pre-Broadway engagement runs Dec. 21-Jan. 16 at Chi’s Shubert Theater.

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