Director Jewels: Camelot at Kansas City Starlight Theatre {Review}

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Camelot at Kansas City Starlight Theatre {Review}

Disclosure: I received press passes to attend this event. No other compensation was received and all opinions expressed are my own.

I can hardly believe that it's the middle of June and that summer shows are well underway at the lovely Starlight Theatre right here in Kansas City. I have always found Starlight to be a magical place, but this year, I'm enjoying my nights under the stars more than ever. Each show is an opportunity to travel to distant lands or somewhere in history, hear the sounds of the night around you, and just relax for awhile.

The latest production - running this week - is Lerner & Loewe's Camelot. Updated for a modern audience, this Tony-winning musical originally opened in 1960.

This production of Camelot, which launched its national tour last fall, reimagines the classic tale
of King Arthur, Guenevere, Lancelot and the Knights of the Round Table in a way that is both
intimate and fresh, while still preserving the beloved themes of brave knights, troubled
romance, passion, betrayal and majesty. The musical’s celebrated score includes the classics “If
Ever I Would Leave You,” “The Simple Joys of Maidenhood,” and, of course, the title song.


The company of Camelot at the knighting of Sir Lancelot. Photo by Scott Suchman 2014.

It's a little ridiculous to admit that as a musical theatre nerd, I've somehow never seen this show in any capacity - not even the movie! So, it was a treat to watch something new - even though I found myself familiar with many of the songs.

One of the most striking things about the production was the set design, particularly the large "tree" that sat at stage-left throughout the show. The tree created a really nice level to add some intrigue to the staging.

Adam Grabau and The Knights of the Round Table. Photo by Scott Suchman 2014.

The cast, headlined by Adam Grabau as Arthur, Mary McNulty as Guenevere, and Tim Rogan as Lancelot, brought their characters and story to life majestically. The show is filled with many musical numbers that were easily recognized - The Simple Joys of Maidenhood, Camelot, The Lusty Month of May, and If Ever I Would Leave You. I enjoyed seeing these numbers in the context of the story, and hearing the rest of the music. There were no weak performances from this cast; it was overall a very solid production performed with heart and life. The music of Frederick Loewe reminded me at multiple times of My Fair Lady, perhaps the most well-known Lerner/Loewe collaboration.

Mary McNulty is a KU graduate - it is always a treat to see someone with local knowledge perform on one of our stages! Starlight Theatre also offered youth auditions and cast three local boys to play the part of Tom of Warwick. The night of our performance we were able to see Andrew Stout perform, but the part is rotated between Andrew, Marek Burns, and Maddox Carter Bane. I love that there was an opportunity given for local kids to be a part of such a magnificent production!

Mary McNulty as Guenevere and Adam Grabau as Arthur. Photo by Scott Suchman 2014.

The story brought to life in Camelot may not be the happiest one ever, but it is done in this production with grace and spirit. I would return to this version of Camelot again in a heartbeat!

Kasidy Devlin as Modred with the Company of Camelot. Photo by Scott Suchman 2014.

Tickets for Camelot at Starlight Theatre are on sale now for $12 to $92. Tickets
are available online at Starlight Theatre, by calling 816.363.STAR (7827) or at the Starlight
box office at 4600 Starlight Road, Kansas City, MO 64132. All performances begin at 8 p.m.

You can follow the Camelot Tour (though KC is the last stop) on Twitter and Facebook, as well.

Thanks to Starlight Theatre for providing my tickets to the show. I received no other compensation and all views expressed are my own. For more information, you can read my Disclosure Policy.

2 comments:

  1. So jealous! My 10th grade English teacher had us read this aloud and then would put on records when the songs came. I loved it and still think of him as my favorite English teacher ever. I'm sure most of the other kids in class were rolling their eyes but for me it was heavenly.

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