Thứ Năm, Tháng Sáu 1, 2023
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Camelot Broadway Review: A Mixed Arthurian Experience by Aaron Sorkin

There was a moment when I knew there was a lot going wrong with by Aaron Sorkin the musical book-writing work debuted with the stage revival of “Camelot”. It came about when Phillipa Soo groaned in the title of “Camelot” with an attitude like “Is this guy serious about doing a musical?”

However, it was the same scene that led to the realization that Sorkin’s craft could be on the right track. That’s when the young King Arthur (Andrew Burnap) convinces his arranged fiancée, Guenevere (Soo), of a risky experiment: “Together, we can discover if power can be harnessed. mining as a force for good or not.” The promise of this experiment convinces the skeptical princess that the purpose of her marriage can be net beneficial – as long as she doesn’t unduly challenge her obligations.

Those familiar with “Camelot” and its often-adapted lore source (in this case TH White’s “Once and Future King”) know that passion is blossoming between Guenevere and the knight. Lancelot (chaotic Jordan Donica) changed the course of Camelot. Camelot’s foundation revolved around the stability of the monarchy and the monogamous marriage of Arthur and Guinevere. But can Sorkin and director Bartlett Sher’s collaboration redefine a Golden Age artifact? The fame of “Camelot” itself carried a clear chorus: Frederick Loewe’s romantic music was better than Alan Jay Lerner’s book.

A modernized medieval

Sorkin reimagined the literal magic of the original work in favor of the (approximate) realism of the contemporary Middle Ages. To take one example, Lancelot doesn’t magically resurrect a knight. Second, this Arthur never wished to be turned into a hawk. But most importantly, Sorkin’s version works on Guenevere’s theory that Arthur’s legendary sword-drawing technique is the product of “9999 loose men”.[ing] it”, suggesting that the latter’s coronation is the result of a lottery process rather than a measure of magical value.It gives Arthur a particular flaw in his position, especially was among the knights, who supported the old order and felt threatened by the egalitarian ideas of Arthur and Guenevere.

From a divisive “The West Wing” screenwriter like Sorkin, the book creates some new twists by highlighting the political issues surrounding rigid monogamy in marriage. by Guenevere. In this version, Guenevere has a French background, which further motivates her to bond with a fellow Frenchman in Lancelot (with the concluding implication of the two BIPOCs being related on the level that the White Arthur doesn’t notice). Already suspicious of a queen of French descent, the English knights did not take Arthur’s advice from the Frenchman Lancelot seriously, and they could find any excuse to rebel against the royal couple’s orders. While Sorkin can provide compelling background, his nimble robustness encourages nasty tendencies in great actors like Burnap and Soo. At times, “Camelot” can feel hopeless overusing the contemporary delivery of lines like “I know what a metaphor is.” Attempts to connect with an audience can reduce a musical’s musings to giggles.

It’s like looking at a picture

Less childish than late Richard Harris of the 1967 film adaptation and 1980s revival, Burnap portrays an educated young man who is both self-aware and unaware of his flaws. Fresh from “Go to the forest“, Soo retains her magical ability to strike a balance between silk and steel. The “Hamilton” star plays Queen Guenevere who pursues wisdom while longing for a nuance of romance, something the queen can find. in the venerable Lancelot, whom Donica on the dream boat injected into a monumental swagger that melted in humility.

There’s much more to enjoy about “Camelot,” including an orchestra of 30 pieces by Robert Russell Bennett & Philip J. Lang. Also in the spacious Vivian Beaumont Theatre, Sher also directed the 2015 revival of “The King and I” that sought East-West nuances as well as “My beautiful girl“The revival where Eliza Doolittle apparently leaves the theater from Professor Higgins’ control. He envisions “Camelot” with an enigmatic beauty that is reflected in the minimalist style of its stunning floorboards. Michael Yeargan, skip the gilded backdrops Lap Chi Chi’s (59 Productions’) landscape and light contours of domes and walls with furniture and pastoral wood are unobtrusive. You’re looking at portraits, and Jennifer Moeller’s sleek costume work serves as the finishing touch to the painting-like range. success of direction, “Fie On Goodness!” choreographed a turbulent portrait of betrayal.

How do you solve a problem like Mordred?

Despite its outward beauty, “Camelot” also proves that materials can be too cumbersome to rearrange. While the often mutilated reimagining of Morgan Le Fey (Marilee Talkington) offers interesting tensions, neither Sorkin nor Sher discovers their illegitimate child, Mordred (Taylor Trensch), with Arthur. To be fair, both the film and the 1981 Broadway revival (viewed via the HBO broadcast take over preserved on BroadwayHD) never tackles Mordred, an evil cover that exists to wreak havoc. Despite efforts to give him personality, Trensch substitutes an emoji (with Cookie Jordan’s hairdo) for size.

In particular, as Tom of Warwick (Camden McKinnon) enters the final 10 minutes, this epilogue poses to us something we can’t or can’t earn for this revival: that we can trust that Camelot’s foundation could be preserved in a distilled fantasy world while downplaying how it fell. While Arthur feels consoling when a child carries a torch for his vision, it feels dishonest to him involuntarily burying the complexities. At least, that’s my interpretation as I walk out of the theater.

For all its cracks, Sorkin and Sher’s “Camelot” is a watchable experiment that I can’t recommend or discourage. So that’s why Richard Harris’ King Arthur wanted to be a hawk. From a broad view, he wouldn’t need to be too close to Camelot’s cracks.

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