“CAMELOT” MARCHES MAJESTICALLY INTO GOODSPEED MUSICALS

BONNIE GOLDBERG

How can a man who can whack a dragon and face armies of enemies without quaking in fear be afraid of a mere wisp of a woman?  Easily, if this unknown maiden is to be his bride in a royal arranged marriage to bring peace to the kingdom.  The kingdom in question is Camelot and the reluctant and anxious bridegroom is King Arthur.

Until Saturday, September 19, the legendary and magnificent musical “Camelot” by Frederick Loewe and Alan Jay Lerner will march majestically into Goodspeed Musicals in East Haddam.  Come recapture the story of the young squire who unwittingly pulls out the sword Excalibur logged in stone and reveals his destiny to be monarch of Britain and the creator of his special brotherhood, the Knights of the Round Table.

Bradley Dean is wonderful as the questioning and conflicted ruler who doesn’t quite believe in his royal powers, despite having been tutored by his great mentor Merlyn (Herman Petras).  His bride Guenevere, usually performed by Erin Davie, was portrayed by a luminous Marissa McGowan and the larger-than--life Lancelot was modestly marvelous in the hands of Maxime de Toledo, especially when he sings “C’est Moi.”.

King Arthur strives to create a new order of chivalry, where might is only used for right, where justice prevails and wars cease to exist.  Into his fantasy world, jealousy, evil and revenge take root, with Mordred (Adam Shonkwiler) as the chief gardener of discontent.  The glorious music of “The Simple Joys of Maidenhood,” “Take Me to the Fair,” “If Ever I Would Leave You” and “Camelot” add to the show’s enchanted qualities.  Rob Ruggiero directs this bursting with life and love production to perfection.

For tickets ($27.50-74.50), call Goodspeed Musicals, on the Connecticut River in East Haddam (exit 7 off route 9) at 860-873-8668 or online at www.goodspeed.org. ; Performances are Wednesday at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., Thursday at 7:30 p.m., with select performances at 2 p.m., Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m., with select performances are 6:30 p.m.

Enter the swirl of glory that is Camelot where the tables are round, the relationships are triangular and the entertainment quotient is a solid gold square of historical tapestry.

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