“Camelot,” Lerner and Loewe’s innovative retelling of the legendary story of King Arthur, Guinevere and Lancelot, captivated Nashvillians with its opening performance on Tuesday at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center.
This creative musical is a revival of Lerner and Loewe’s classic version that modernizes the production. Its updated look includes new costumes and a fresh set design, and it seemed to reflect influences of Monty Python and “Game of Thrones” by combining witty satire with the drama of a love triangle and battle scenes fought onstage with real steel swords.
The musical aspect of the show offered a creative twist to traditional story.
Adam Grabau and Mary McNulty as King Arthur and Queen Guenevere delighted audiences by maintaining excellent onstage chemistry, which highlighted the banter in each of their duets.
Despite the early exit of Merlin, the first act stayed very lighthearted and funny.
McNulty dazzled viewers with the creative and sassy songs “The Simple Joys of Maidenhood” and “The Lusty Month of May,” and Grabau served an equally entertaining rendition of “Camelot,” the wildly exaggerated ode to Camelot’s perfection.
However, Tim Rogan as Lancelot easily stole the show with his impeccable rendition of “C’est Moi,” a song that highlights each of Lancelot’s virtues and perfections. Rogan’s perfect representation of the sarcastic song had audience members laughing from start to finish.
In the second act, the show abruptly shifted into a more somber tone as the drama of the story was depicted. Mordred, the illegitimate son of King Arthur, appears in Camelot to seek revenge on his father for abandoning him. Mordred, excellently portrayed by Kasidy Devlin, is maniacally evil and wastes little time before throwing Arthur’s court into chaos.
As Mordred worked to turn Arthur’s knights against him, Lancelot and Guenevere admitted their intense attraction to each other. Unlike Mordred, the lovers are determined not to hurt Arthur, but they cannot hide their passion.
Rogan stole the spotlight again during “If Ever I Would Leave You,” a beautiful song in which Lancelot admits that he could never live away from Guenevere.
Rogan sang through the entire song without move. He offered no dramatic or sweeping gestures. He simply stood with his arms by his side and stared into McNulty’s eyes, which intensified the passion and attraction between them.
In addition to the impressive main cast, the role of Tom of Warwick, a young boy hoping to become one of King Arthur’s famous knights, will be played by locals. Three boys, each under 10 years old, will be sharing the role of Tom throughout the show’s run.
Full of intense drama and hilarious chaos, “Camelot” is well worth a watch.
“Camelot” will run from Tuesday through Sunday at TPAC in downtown Nashville, Tenn. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday night performances begin at 7:30 p.m., and there will be two performances both Saturday and Sunday.
Belmont students receive a discount by using promo code “BELMONT” when checking out.
PHOTO: Camelot Touring Company