Lakewood performing 'Camelot' in May and June
Dennis Corwin, the director of the new Lakewood Theater performance "Camelot, had long wanted to guide the production of the King Arthur mythic.
But, in his telling, he wanted to incorporate the people who passed on the tale for generations.
Corwin's vision will come to life during various performances from May 5 to June 12 at the theater in Lake Oswego. For ticket details, visit lakewood-center.org.
"I would say the big takeaway is audiences need to be prepared to see a beloved musical in a different way. It's hopefully going to be really exciting," he said.
The classic story follows the love triangle of King Arthur, his new wife Guenevere and Lancelot, an ambitious man who sets off for Camelot to join the Round Table, as well as subsequent jockeying for power. And idealism is a central theme.
"It's a classic love story that, even though the source material is 1,500 years old, the themes are as relevant today as they were then. Particularly in today's climate and political world, the idea of an idealist trying to make the world a better place still resonates," Corwin said.
Corwin and the Lakewood team are using a script that was made for a smaller eight-to-10 person cast, and Corwin's version also incorporates the "revelers" sitting in front of a bonfire telling the story as it goes along. Corwin noted that the "Camelot" story was told for hundreds of years through oral tradition. The revelers take on the characters as the show progresses.
"Arthurian legend began around the fifth century and the 'knight-in-shining-armor' concept evolved through interpretations," Corwin said.
The director added that this version is more brisk and physical than other interpretations, that the set will resemble a "Celtic-Saxon ruin" and the props should appear handmade.
Corwin said the key to pulling off the performance is nailing the musical numbers and he said the cast is up to the task.
"With the show itself, the audience always responds to the music first and foremost. It has to be delivered to the level they're expecting. It's a classic piece of musical theater," he said. "We have 10 performers who are amazing musicians and will deliver the score the audience wants to hear."
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