Camelot Review - Things May Not Always Seem As They Appear

At one time or another, we have all heard the adage, “ Things may not always seem as they appear.” This wisdom can certainly be applied to the story of Camelot- the timeless tale of King Arthur, his love Guenevere and his most trusted knight, Lancelot. Arguably, these three characters comprise the most famous love triangle in the history of western civilization, or at least Broadway.

 

Nick Sandys (Arthur) and Jennie Sophia (Guenevere) in Light Opera Works - CAMELOT

                             

Jennie Sophia (Guenevere) in Light Opera Works - CAMELOT

                         

Nick Sandys (Arthur) in Light Opera Works - CAMELOT



The Light Opera Works production of Camelot, based on the music and lyrics of Lerner and Loewe, is adapted from an original story entitled The Once and  Future King, by T.H. White. This two act musical contains all of the components that comprise a good soap opera drama. There is the heroic, yet somewhat conflicted King Arthur, played by the likeable and charismatic Nick Sandys, his betrothed princess Guenevere complete with profound ambivalence towards her nuptials to the King, played by Jennie Sophia, who incidentally possesses a beautiful singing voice, and of course the gallant, morally upstanding friend and confidant of both King and Queen, Lancelot,  capably portrayed by William Travis Taylor.

 

William Travis Taylor (Lancelot) and Greg Zawada (Sir Lionel) in Light Opera Works - CAMELOT



As the story opens, King Arthur awaits the arrival of Guenevere,  who has been promised to him in marriage. He is anxious and seeks the counsel of his mentor Merlyn played with wicked effete by Michael Harnichar. On its surface, the story of Camelot is an adult fairytale about unattainable expectations; a wise, noble king who fights for and is adored by his subjects. In Camelot, the sun always shines and the temperature is always just right. If only the main characters could live up to these lofty standards. Within the confines of the castle walls, King Arthur is both a warrior and a pacifist, dreaming of using his “ might for right”. His vision of a perfect society is to create the Order of the Knights of the Round Table, where only the most morally upright and loyal knights may claim a seat of honor. He faces a dilemma in reconciling his warrior ethic with his pacifist leanings. Lady Guenevere is not so much in love with Arthur the man, as she is with Arthur the King and what he represents. There is genuine mutual respect between these two people, but for real sexual tension and good old fashioned infidelity, no one does it better than Lancelot. This is a tragic character. Lancelot is a man driven by his morality, and sense of what is right and just. On the other hand, he is guilty of  hubris. In his mind he wants to be contrite and humble. He wants to serve and protect, but his heart tells him otherwise. His loyalty to his King is overridden by his lusting for Guenevere. He is a narcissist torn between duty and his love of the Queen. All of this ends badly when we are introduced to Mordred, Arthur’s ruthless, illegitimate son-cum-interloper played with evil impishness by Patrick Tierney. Mordred  capitalizes on the domestic upheavals in Camelot to ultimately bring down Arthur and Guenevere.

 

William Travis Taylor (Lancelot) and Jennie Sophia (Guenevere) in Light Opera Works - CAMELOT



For anyone who enjoys classic Broadway standards, this production of Camelot will not disappoint. The acting and singing are solid, and I might add that the scenery and costuming are a visual delight.

 

Photo Credit: Chris Ocken

Director: Rudy Hogenmiller

Choreographer: Todd Rhoades

Conductor: Roger L. Bingaman

 

RUN:   Wednesday, June 6, at 2pm

          Friday, June 8, at 8pm

          Saturday, June 9, at 8pm

          Sunday, June10, 2pm

 

LOCATION: Cahn Auditorium

                 600 Emerson St.

                 Evanston, Ill.

 

 TICKETS:  Main Floor $48, $68, $77, $92

                Balcony  $32, $48, $68, $72

                Ages 21 and younger half price

                 (847) 920-5360

                 LightOperaWorks.com 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



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