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CAMELOT MusicalFare Theatre/Daemen College
By
Sep 24, 2021, 17:26
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Through October 17
CAMELOT MusicalFare Theatre/Daemen College

When my parents saw the opening night of Lerner & Loewe’s “Camelot” in Toronto a long time ago, it ran 4 ½ hours.
The “re-imagined” new production at MusicalFare runs about 2 ½ hours.
This is also far different in Chris Cavanagh’s sandy set, more of something out of those old Annette Funicello Disney beach movies than the traditional staging, you know, Monty Python, with body armor, shields and swords and the original story of King Arthur, the centuries-old tales growing out of the Roman legions marching out of Britain 16 centuries ago.
That’s a story, which spread across Europe and the world and morphed over time, including some early variations recently discovered in French in the binding of an old book in an English university library.
Here, it’s a tale of a woman (Guinevere) trying to be a wife to the king and a best friend to Arthur’s best friend Lancelot, the love and lust triangle which destroys Camelot and the Round Table.
The king’s son Mordred (a wonderful Arin Lee Dandes) uses her hatred and that of her mother to destroy what Arthur was trying to build, in the titanic battle between Arthur’s (Darryl Semira) army and Lance’s (Alejandro Gabriél Gómez) army, as Guinevere (Gabriella McKinley) watches in horror at what she has done, setting the stage for Mordred’s triumph.
Of course, over the centuries Mordred becomes a symbol of evil, the Judas of the Round Table, while Arthur stands as a symbol of good.
The basic show is from Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe of “My Fair Lady” fame and many others, based on T.H. White’s “The Once and Future King.”
Broadway and Hollywood legend Moss Hart took the mess my parents saw and made it a hit on the Great White Way and eventually into a movie.
Locally, Carlos R.A. Jones and Victoria Pérez are the directors and stagers, with Theresa Quinn on the keyboard and music directing.
The show’s greatest asset remains the music from Lerner and Loewe, “Camelot,” “How To Handle A Woman,” “If Ever I Would Leave You” and “Fie On Goodness.”
As some of the titles suggest, the values implicit in the show are a little out of line today and I think that’s reflected in what’s on stage, like the seldom used swords of the production and trying to get away from the strongly male nature of the entire Arthur catalog and the violence implicit in the whole Arthurian legend.
I’m not going to plead for the armor and voices of the original cast, Richard Burton, Julie Andrews and Robert Goulet, with Goulet making a career out of the role and at least one trip through Shea’s with “Camelot.”
The three leads here are uneven, really strong performances from McKinley and Gómez, while Semira has a good voice but just isn’t right for the part.
I do want to see McKinley and Gomez in something else while Semira was striking in Alleyway’s “White Rabbit Red Rabbit.”
The other cast members are uneven, with Sabrina Kahwaty’s Sir Lionel sticking out
Jones and Pérez clearly attempted to shrink the size of the cast and soften the militant nature of the show and it doesn’t really work.
The reason to see this production of “Camelot” remains that Lerner and Loewe music.

A.W.

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