Sunday, August 23, 2009

Camelot at Goodspeed

Marissa McGowan, left, and Mollie Vogt-Welch
in Goodspeed Musicals CAMELOT. Photo by Diane Sobolewski.

Marissa McGowan's Shining Moment
By Lauren Yarger
Marissa McGowan has replaced Erin Davie as Guenevere in Goodspeed Musicals' Camelot, running through Sept. 19 at the opera house in East Hadaam and if you haven't seen this production yet, or if you didn't have a chance to see McGowan in the role, it's well wortht he trip.
Director Rob Ruggiero has amassed a very strong vocal ensemble to tell Lerner and Loewe's musical story of King arthur's round table. He focuses on the love story between Guenevere and Lancelot, and their feelings of love and lyalty for Arthur and it' very effective, giving the show some real depth and structure.

McGowan, who previously appeared at Goodspeed in last season's Big River (also directed by Ruggiero) and who performed the roles of Eponine and Cosette in Les Miserables on Broadway, is fantastic. When I attended and saw the understudy notice in the program, I was not happy, but my dismay soon turned to joy when McGowan took the stage.

Fast facts about Camelot:
Music by: Frederick Loewe
Book and Lyrics by: Alan Jay Lerner

Choreographer: Ralph Perkins
Set Designer: Michael Schweikardt
Costume Coordinator: Alejo Vietti
Lighting Designer: John Lasiter
Music Director: Michael O’Flaherty
Assistant Music Director: F. Wade Russo
Orchestrations: Dan DeLange
Bradley Dean (Arthur)

Maxime de Toledo (Lancelot)

Adam Shonkwiler (Mordred)

Ronn Carroll (Pellinore)

Herman Petras (Merlyn)

Charles Everett Crocco (Tom of Warwick)

Background: Camelot by Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe is based on T. H. White’s literary version of the legend, The Once and Future King. The original 1960 production, directed by Moss Hart, ran on Broadway for 873 performances, winning four Tony Awards and spawning several revivals, foreign productions and a 1967 film version.

The original Broadway cast included Julie Andrews, Richard Burton and Roddy McDowall as well as Robert Goulet in his first Broadway role. John Cullum also made his Broadway debut as Sir Dinadan and Bruce Yarnell was Sir Lionel.

Synopsis: Experience “one brief shining moment” that was Camelot. Relive the enduring legend of King Arthur, Guenevere, Lancelot, and the Knights of the Round Table in an enchanting fable of chivalry, honor, and brotherhood. Dazzling and spellbinding with sweeping romance and historic grandeur, this classic musical speaks to our time and for all time. The celebrated score includes the classics “If Ever I Would Leave You,” “The Simple Joys of Maidenhood,” and “Camelot.” Winner of 4 Tony Awards.
Performances: Wednesday at 2 pm and 7:30 pm, Thursday at 7:30 pm, (with select performances at 2 pm), Friday at 8 pm, Saturday at 3 pm and 8 pm, and Sunday at 2 pm (with select performances at 6:30 pm.).

Tickets: Goodspeed Box Office (860.873.8668) or on-line at

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Lauren Yarger with playwright Alfred Uhry at the Mark Twain House. Photo: Jacques Lamarre)

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