BWW Reviews: CAMELOT at Westchester Broadway Theatre

Published: Friday, February 6, 2015 By: Kathryn Kitt Source: BroadwayWorld

Westchester Broadway Theatre has staged a first-rate production of Lerner & Lowe's CAMELOT. Intimately directed and choreographed by Richard Sabellico, this 1960 Musical, based upon T.H. White's tale "The Once and Future King," is presented in a fully realized, character-driven presentation.

In 1960, CAMELOT had the misfortune of being the follow-up show to Learner and Loewe's brilliant musical MY FAIR LADYand never had the same flow or energy in its book. Clunky dialogue and sloppy moments did not present well in the overall production. Save for a lovely score, it is hard to relate to a love triangle involving adultery and malicious behavior.

Clark Carmichael as King Arthur was youthful, yet conflicted at being such a strict stately presence. Jennifer Hope Wills as Guenevere sings in a beautiful lyric soprano-heartbreaking in her longing for Sir Lancelot, knowing that her realm would be threatened. Jeremiah James, as Sir Lancelot completes the triangle as the dashing, magical knight, who would rather die than not be with "Genny."

Musically directed by Ryan Wise and sound designed by Jonathan Hatton, the score was wonderfully arranged and balanced. The diction could be understood, especially during some of the patter songs like "I Wonder What the King is Doing Tonight" and "What do the Simple Folk Do?" Showstoppers like "If Ever I Would Leave You" and "I've Loved you Once in Silence" were beautifully conveyed, both with emotion and vocal line.

There are moments of comic relief and Martin Van Treuren as Merlyn/Pellimore brings an effortless flair to his scenes. Even though Jordan Wolfe, as Mordred is only in the second act, he comes on like gangbusters, as the evil son of King Arthur and a sorceress. His one number "Fie on Goodness" was electric. The ensemble - consisting of Emily Brockwayas, Dan Fenaughty, Michael Glavan, Billy Hepfinger, Nina Kompanek, and Damian Shembel completes the cast and make their roles their own. Jeremy Laotian and Aron Tucker alternate as Tom, the young boy who idealizes Arthur.

The Westchester Broadway Stage was utilized to showcase the intimacy of the characters. The set design (Kyle Dixon) displayed various levels with stairs and moveable planks. Characters were elevated up and down throughout the stage and the lighting design by Andrew Gmoser highlighted the intensity. The costume design by Janell Bertè was lovely and regal, capturing the theme of the Kingdom. Richard Sambellico's choreography was elegant and spirited. James Jelkin staged some exciting fight scenes- especially during "The Jousts" and "Guenevere."

Experience CAMELOT'S many "brief shining moment"(s) as Lerner and Loewe envisioned it in one of theatre's most legendary musicals. The time-honored legend of King Arthur, Guenevere, Lancelot, and the Knights of the Round Table in this enchanting production which makes lively the fable of chivalry, majesty, and brotherhood in this four-time Tony Award® winning show.

Of course at the end, when the title song is reprised, one would want to join the chorus and live in this mystical land. For that, I congratulate the Westchester Broadway Theatre for suspending disbelief and providing an enchanted experience.