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Camelot On Stage at Roger Rocka’s Dinner Theater

IN THE September 28 ISSUE

FROM THE 2016 Articles,
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by Lorie Lewis Ham

I have been in love with the story of King Arthur and Camelot for as long as I can remember. I grew up with the movie, and have seen the show on stage three times now. It is a story and world that I adore, and a musical full of fun songs and characters. When I heard that the Good Company Players were producing the show this season, I couldn’t wait to see it! Camelot is based on the book The Once and Future King by T.H. White. It is a classic Lerner and Loewe musical.

If you are not familiar with the legend of King Arthur, you are among the few and I suggest you remedy that immediately by seeing this production of Camelot. It is probably one of the most famous and retold stories of all time–with many versions and takes on the story itself. The musical Camelot only shares parts of the story. King Arthur (who became king by removing Excalibur from a stone) is waiting for his bride–it is an arranged marriage to help bring about the peaceful kingdom that he is striving for. After they are wed, Arthur decides that he wants to bring together a group of the best knights he can find to use their might to bring justice to his kingdom, and do good–his mantra becomes might FOR right rather than might IS right. They are to use their power to bring peace, justice, and prosperity to all of Camelot. In comes Lancelot–the greatest knight in the world (according to him, and he proves this is true). After proving himself, he helps Arthur bring those ideals to reality and becomes his best and most trusted friend and advisor. Camelot has the most heart breaking love triangle of all time.

theatre

Arthur (Paddy Myers) & Guenevere (Emily Pessano) in GCP’s production of CAMELOT

This is not Paddy Myers first time playing Arthur, and he brings to the role a kingly presence and comfortableness with the character, portraying both the light hearted and serious sides of this character with ease. Emily Pessano as his Guenevere is lovely, fun, feisty, and a perfect match for a king. Terry Lewis plays the gallant knight Lancelot with just the right balance of self-righteousness, and yet goodness and honor. Jeff Dinmore as Arthur’s friend Pellinore is a delight, as he is in any role that he plays–he is the consummate character actor possessing perfect comedic timing and adding a lightness to even the most serious of moments. Other knights include Sir Dinadan (Greg Ruud), Sir Sagramore (Daniel Sutherland), and Sir Lionel (Henry Montelongo). Gordon Moore plays Merlyn.

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Left to right-Pellinore (Jeff Dinmore), King Arthur (Paddy Myers) & Guenevere (Emily Pessano)

Bringing a burst of energy and evilness to the story is Tim Smith as Arthur’s illegitimate son Mordred–who explodes in to the story up to no good. His song “The Seven Deadly Virtues” is one of my favorites and what an amazing voice!

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Mordred (Tim Smith) & Morgan Le Fery (Abigail Nolte)

Henry Montelongo also choreographed the fight scenes, and I must say there is nothing more exciting than a sword fight! It was wonderful fun to watch.

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Left to right-Lancelot (Terry Lewis) fighting Sir Sagramore (Daniel Sutherland)

Another fun, and yet sweet, song was Arthur’s song “How to Handle A Woman.” And who doesn’t love the song “Camelot.” My favorite song though has always been Lancelot’s heartbreaking love song to Guenevere, “If Ever I Would Leave You,” sung beautifully by the very talented Terry Lewis–it’s enough to make any heart melt.

While the show started off a little slow, it picked up quickly and the entire cast did a splendid job! Camelot has everything you could ask for in an amazing story–knights, sword fights, inspiring heroes, deliciously evil villains, love, heartbreak, friendship–and well just everything! It also has fun and catchy music–the kind you will find yourself singing for days to come! Do not miss this show–it will sweep you away into the wonderful world of Camelot!
In short, there’s simply not
A more congenial spot
For happily-ever-aftering than here
In Camelot.

Camelot is on stage at Roger Rocka’s Dinner Theater, 1226 N. Wishon at Olive, in Fresno until November 6. Tickets can be purchased by calling their box office (559) 266-9494 or visiting their website.

You can find more theatre articles, and other entertainment articles, in our Arts & Entertainment section.

Lorie Lewis Ham is our Editor-in-Chief and an enthusiastic contributor to various sections, coupling her journalism experience with her connection to the literary and entertainment worlds. Explore Lorie’s mystery writing at Mysteryrat’s Closet.

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