Spotlight: ‘Camelot’ by Valley Light Opera; ‘Celebration of the Arts’ in Amherst

Published: 11/1/2019 9:28:08 AM

What the king is doing tonight

The original was one of the most popular musicals in Broadway history, totaling some 875 performances, winning multiple Tony awards, and spawning numerous revivals, a best-selling soundtrack album and a film of the same name. The cast included some of the era’s biggest names of stage and screen — Richard Burton, Julie Andrews, Robert Goulet — and the title later became associated with John F. Kennedy’s presidency.

Now “Camelot” is making a return engagement, at Northampton’s Academy of Music, in a new production by Valley Light Opera (VLO) that opens Saturday, Nov. 2, and also plays Sunday, Nov. 3, and Nov. 8-10.

The 1960 musical, written by Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe, was adapted from “The Once and Future King,” the 1958 novel by T.H. White that examined the legend of Britain’s King Arthur. Much of the storyline revolves around the tangled love triangle of King Arthur, his wife, Guenevere, and Sir Lancelot, the knight who falls in love with Guenevere. Robert Goulet, who played Lancelot in the original production, made his ode to Guenevere, “If Ever I Should Leave You,” the signature song of his career.

In VLO’s version of the musical, Camelot, according to production notes, is “an evolving state, where ‘Right is Might’ and the Round Table come into being. It lends itself to whispers of today’s politics with the promise that the strength of human goodness overcomes evil and unites the decent in a common cause.”

Show organizers are also promising some video enhancements and other computerized special effects to bring an added dimension to the stage sets. Overall, VLO’s “Camelot” features some 30 performers, with Benjamin Morse as Arthur, Elaine Crane as Guenevere, David Leslie as Lancelot and Thomas Griffin as Merlyn the Magician.

Performances take place at 7:30 p.m. this Saturday and at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday; tickets range from $18 to $33. For more information, visit aomtheatre.com or vlo.org.

Networking in the arts

You’ve written a great song — but how do you get it recorded, and even more, how do you get people to hear it? Or maybe you’ve come up with a great new series of paintings. Where can you exhibit them?

To answer those questions, consider attending the Amherst Center Cultural District’s “Celebration of the Arts” on Thursday, Nov. 6, at Bistro 63 in downtown Amherst. This year, the annual event will focus on outreach opportunities available to artists, including how to get your work seen by the right people, with a panel discussion with local gallerists, museum curators and publishers about opportunities to collaborate.

Panelists include Michel Moushabeck, publisher/editor with Interlink Publishing of Northampton; Amanda Herman, education curator with the University Museum of Contemporary Art at UMass Amherst; Danielle Amodeo, marketing and public programs specialist with the Mead Art Museum at Amherst College; and Lisa Thompson, associate director of Northampton’s A.P.E Gallery.

The 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. forum will also feature live art-making demos: painting by Naya Gabriel and electro-salt water etching by Wouter Schievink from the Rust Temple in Easthampton. In addition, there will be a Q&A session and a networking reception following the panel discussion.

The event is free; a cash bar will also be on hand.

— Steve Pfarrer




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