Not since its most recent production of “The King and I” has Glendale
Centre Theatre presented a musical with the depth and strength as the
current offering of “Camelot.”
Director and choreographer Mark Knowles complements Lerner’s and
Loewe’s moving story of King Arthur’s attempts to establish a kingdom
based on man’s better nature with a near flawless cast.
Additionally, Knowles expertly handles the dramatic scenes so
often glossed over in favor of the show’s musical numbers.
As Arthur, George Champion deftly transitions from a younger,
less-mature ruler into a solid monarch, due in large part to his
marriage to Guenevere. His angst then over her alleged infidelity is
all the more heart-wrenching as he struggles between personal
feelings and his sense of duty.
Centre Theatre stalwart Charlotte Carpenter portrays a queen of
equal stature. Her Guenevere, whether matching wits with Arthur or
enjoying a melodic romp with her subjects, is a joy to behold.
The triangle of near tragedy is completed by Lawrence Long in the
role of Lancelot, Arthur’s hope for the future of the round table and
Guenevere’s temptation. Long’s vocal quality is nuanced while
remaining unpretentiously strong.
Mario Di Gregorio, Centre Theatre’s chameleon, imbues the dual
roles of Merlyn and King Pellinore with a worldly wisdom and lovably
Only Joseph Conarkov, in the pivotal role of Mordred, Arthur’s
illegitimate son, falls short of the mark. A villain whose treachery
is so obvious to other characters begs the question as to why someone
doesn’t just do away with him on the spot.
Hats off to sound operator Nathan Verbois, musical director
Steven Applegate and his singers for blessedly seamless transitions
between dialogue and song, an attribute often missing with the use of
Debbie Gluck’s wardrobe is regal and lush, while Tim Dietlein’s
scenic design of hanging tapestries, period furniture and a perfectly
choreographed flowered maypole fills every corner of this quaint
This “Camelot,” unlike the plodding film version, moves forward
with building anticipation and passion thanks to a director who, with
a great cast and excellent technical support, knows how to tell a