Tuesday, 3 December 2019

a lerner and loewe production

With a strong cast including Julie Andrews, Robert Goulet, Richard Burton and Roddy McDowall though opening-night critical reception was mixed, Camelot premiered on Broadway at the Majestic on this day in 1960—running ultimately for over eight hundred performances in the course of three years before going on tour, netting several awards and a cinematic adaptation (also boosting a strong suite of actors).  It’s a little strange to think in hindsight that the Kennedy White House was accorded those airs and refinement of chivalry and idealism because the stage play and cast recording were so well inculcated in popular culture and not the other way around. I wonder where else this phenomena, this transference takes hold. At the end of the second and final act, with infidelity leading to betrayal and bloodshed and the Round Table broken, King Arthur encounters a young stowaway called Tom of Warwick (Robin Stewart, Mike Abbott on ITV’s Bless this House) whom he knights, hoping that this field promotion will ensure that his legend and the Matter of Britain are carried forward for future generations.

Don’t let it be forgot
That once there was a spot,
For one brief, shining moment
That was known as Camelot.