|he absolutely evil Mordred (Tomas Eredia) stirs up trouble |
in the kingdom in DMTC’s production of Lerner & Loewe’s classic
“Camelot,” running through March 29.
Steve Isaacson’s set design for the musical, currently at Davis Musical Theatre Company, may be a bit less than opulent, but it at least gives the impression of a castle. Yet thanks to the outstanding costumes of Jean Henderson, the stage is indeed beautiful and opulent.
Jori Gonzales alone, as Guinevere, had nine costumes throughout the three-plus-hour show. All are wonderful, but her first costume, simple with no jewel adornment, is tailored so perfectly and the material so beautiful that it was my favorite of the night.
Gonzales, happy to be performing her third Julie Andrews role, is exceptional. A beautiful, clear voice that can sing opera as well as musical theater, she embodies the character so well that the chemistry between her and King Arthur (Joe Alkire) seems so real that one wonders what she sees in Lancelot (A.J. Rooney).
Alkire is a wonderful, down-to-earth king, still not quite sure how he became king and uncomfortable about his upcoming marriage (“I wonder what the king is doing tonight”). He and Guinevere warm to each other and over the next few years he not only grows into his marriage but into his role as king as well.
Lancelot arrives at Camelot so arrogant that Guinevere hates him and arranges for him to battle three of her best knights, but when he beats all three, killing one and then bringing him back to life again, her heart is changed and they begin a secret affair.
It’s an odd affair since both Lancelot and Guinevere love Arthur and Arthur loves both of them, accepts their affair and pretends not to notice so that when Guinevere is tricked into revealing their relationship and is sentenced to death, Arthur helps the lovers escape, even though it brings down the beautiful democracy that he worked so hard to create.
Joel Porter plays Merlin, Arthur’s mentor. It’s amazing that he can speak through that huge mustache that totally covers his mouth (does he eat?). After he is lured away from Camelot by the enchantress Nimue (Andrea Borquin), the actor returns as Pellinore, a bumbling and endearing old man who becomes a permanent guest of Arthur and Guinevere. His buddy Horrid the dog (played by a confused looking Mrs. Bigglesworth) is very cute.
Arthur’s illegitimate son Mordred is played by Tomas Eredia (who, somehow, is not listed in the program for that character). Eredia bursts on stage with a high level of energy and dominates his scenes, earning the boos his villain character receives.
Young Matthew Vallero is Tom of Warwick, the child who comes to join the Round Table, reminding Arthur of the ideals he was able to create, if only temporarily. Vallero, 10, has been in all the youth productions for the past two years but is making his main stage debut and is excellent.
This is a very long show that drags in spots, but overall is a beautiful production with some outstanding performances.