“CAMELOT” WONDERFUL IN WESTPORT

By BONNIE GOLDBERG

Believing in the majesty and magic of Camelot is an idealized utopia that tragically does not exist, but still we hope. Westport Country Playhouse is letting us imagine its reality in a masterpiece of a production that has already been extended to Saturday, November 5. Come experience the grandeur and nobility of the legendary King Arthur in this Lerner and Loewe musical, based on T. H. White's book "The Once and Future King."

Pomp and pageantry abound in the mystical land called Camelot where a young and idealistic King Arthur, wonderfully portrayed by Robert Sean Leonard, meets and falls in love with his Queen Guinevere, brought to breathtaking life by Britney Coleman. A troupe of colorful revelers weave in and out of the action as the two impressionable people create a life filled with ideals and grand plans, plans that include creating a loyal cadre of knights, establishing a Round Table, and instituting a code of morals and ethics known as chivalry.

With the goals of creating virtues of right, honor and justice, Arthur enlists the loyalty of the finest and most courageous to join him in his quest. To that end, he summons Sir Sagamore (Jon-Michael Reese), Sir Lionel (Brian Owen), Sir Dinaden (Mike Evariste) and the grandest, bravest, noblest and most modest of them all Sir Lancelot, played by a perfectly handsome and hearty Stephen Mark Lukas.

Even the grandest of plans are subject to disillusionment, as Arthur's two greatest loves, his wife and Lancelot his bet friend fall in love and threaten the delicate balance of the kingdom. Add to that the challenge of the maliciously scheming Mordred, Arthur's son by a witch, creatively wicked in the hands of Patrick Andrews. Mark Lamos directs a superb cast, with fantastic costuming by Wade Laboissonniere, imaginative choreography by Connor Gallagher and luminous lighting by Robert Wierzel.

Glorious music, directed by Wayne Barker, swirls romantically throughout.  Such songs as “If Ever I Would Leave You,” “Camelot,” "C'est Moi" and “Then You May Take Me to the Fair” are poignant or delightful in turn.

For tickets ($40 and up), call Westport Country Playhouse, 25 Powers Court, Westport (off route 1) at 203-227-4177 or 1-888-927-7529 or online at www.westportplayhouse.org for performances Tuesday at 7 p.m., Wednesday at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., Thursday and Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m.

Come meet the youngest potential knight, an adorable Sana Sarr as Tom, who introduces the story and provides the hope for the future at the end.

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