20 July 2009

CAMELOT at the Goodspeed

Attended Camelot at the Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam, CT, last night with the family and thoroughly enjoyed a marvelously staged production.

The cast was excellent from the King to the maidens and squires although Erin Davie's Guenevere was particularly charming and, at times, seemed lit like she were in some pre-Raphaelite painting. The chemistry between her and the King (Bradley Dean) resonated more with us than between her and Lance, although I fear that has everything to do with the script itself and nothing with the fine performance of Maxime de Toledo. I've never been able to figure out exactly how any actor can turn this comic, obnoxious, holier-than-thou character into Jenny's lover when his two most affecting songs, "Toujours" and "If Ever I Would Leave You," are left until Act II. His opening number, "C'est Moi," is such a great comic song that it just takes too much for the character to shake that image successfully -- yes, even more than resurrecting the dead.

The songs are, as you'd expect from a Lerner and Loewe score, remarkable and (well, at least I hope this is still true!) familiar: the title song, "The Simple Joys of Maidenhood," "What do the Simple Folk Do?," "C'est Moi," "I Wonder What the King is Doing Tonight..." All are done simply, wittily, and truly "loverly" (if I may be allowed to mix my L and L shows).

I am an old-fashioned song-and-dance musical kind of guy, so I didn't expect to enjoy this as much as I did the first production of this season, 42nd Street.

I was right. I didn't. I enjoyed it more.

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