On his continuing journey through the works of Stephen Sondheim, director Spiro Veloudos brings us Sondheim’s latest work, Road Show, the true boom-and-bust story of two of the most colorful and outrageous fortune-seekers in American history. From the Alaskan Gold Rush to the Florida real estate boom in the 1930s, entrepreneur Addison Mizner and his fast-talking brother Wilson were proof positive that the road to the American Dream is often a seductive, treacherous tightrope walk.
FEATURING: Neil A. Casey, Tony Castellanos, Jordan Clark, Shannon Lee Jones, Robin Long, David Makransky, Will McGarrahan, Sean McGuirk, Brandon Milardo, Vanessa J. Schukis, Patrick Varner.
As Camelot ends King Arthur tells Tom of Warick to run from the battle so he may live and “Ask every person if he’s heard the story, and tell him strong and clear if he has not.” And that story, the legend of Camelot, is what is given to us in the Lyric Stage’s current production of the Lerner and Loewe classic.
On a beautiful multi-level set that gives the feel of a haunted forest with serpent like trees that appear to be watching the events that unfold, we are treated to a story, the story, that young Tom has passed down through the years. We, the audience, feel as if we are seated by a campfire while the tale is related to us by Arthur, Guenevere, Lancelot, Mordred, and the Knights and Ladies of the Court of King Arthur.
This has been called a “stripped down production”, but I would call it an enhanced work. It is no secret the original Camelot was too long. Shortening it was a challenge from the beginning, and this adaptation by David Lee finally meets that challenge. All of the songs are here, the story is complete, and it moves along seamlessly. Director Spiro Veloudos adds his magic touch to bring it all together for an evening of theatre that will not be forgotten.
Don’t let this brief shining moment pass you by.
The cast led by Ed Hoopman as Arthur speaks in naturalistic voices, so don’t plan on hearing imitations of Burton and Andrews. Hoopman’s voice is rich and smooth connoting the kindness and humanity of the King who wished for a society that was just and fair. Maritza Bostic as Guenevere is lovely and warm with a voice that captivates. It is hard to lose with this score, but with so many people familiar with the original cast album ears may be programmed to hear something else. What is great is how the actor’s make this their own version, and it is a great one.
Jared Troilo, who is a familiar face to Boston theatre goers, takes on the part of the brash Lancelot. Troilo’s rendition of If Ever I Would Leave You is positively wonderful. It had to be a challenge.
I have to say that Rory Boyd’s Mordred is truly amazing. His name alone cues us to expect an evil character, but Boyd manages to move him into more of a grey area. He certainly brings a great energy and just enough ambiguity to the role to make one possibly feel a bit of sympathy for him Mordred, and that is something I doubt has been seen before.
What makes this production so special is the intimacy. Not only is it warm because it is set in a small theater, but it feels the players have invited us to sit by the campfire and hear their stories. It is oh so captivating.
What makes this production so special is the intimacy.
Accompanied by an eight piece orchestra, the cast, who work without amplification, fill the theatre with beautiful sounds. There is not a bad seat in the house, and in this age of an over reliance on electronics it is a pleasure to hear such lovely voices going directly to our ears. It is one of the many things that makes the Lyric Stage so special.
I am sure tickets for this run will sell fast, so don’t wait. Don’t let this brief shining moment pass you by.
Camelot Through June 25th
The Lyric Stage, Copley Square, Boston
The Lyric Stage has announced the cast for Camelot which plays May 19th through June 25th. This fresh new adaptation directed by Spiro Veloudas will feature Ed Hoopman as Arthur, along with Maritza Bostic as Guenevere, and Jared Troilo in the part of Lancelot.
Rory Boyd, Jordan Clark, Garrett Inman, Jeff Marcus, Margarita Bamaris Martinez, Davron S. Monroe, Brad Foster Reinking, and Kira Troilo round out the cast.
This is Spiro’s first work since his recent health issues and we are all looking forward to seeing the Master in action again.
I am embarrassed to admit it, but in all the years I have been attending theatre I have, until now, never seen Stephen Sondheim’s “Company”. Well, I guess the theatre gods wanted me to wait for the Lyric Stage’s production directed by Spiro Veloudos. The gods were smiling on me as I doubt I could have seen a better staging of this wonderful play anywhere else. The wait was worth it.
The play which was considered groundbreaking when it first appeared in 1970 takes on the subject of marriage, commitment, and non commitment. It centers around Bobby, the one person in his circle of friends who has not been in a committed relationship. His friends are concerned that Bobby is not in a relationship, and they are trying to fix him up or convince him that “A person is not complete until married.”
At the same time, we get to explore the question of just how happy Bobby’s married friends are. The songs “The Little Things You Do Together” and “Sorry-Grateful” capture the conflict many couples have using an on the one hand, on the other hand theme.
“Company” is a play that, while dealing with a subject, marriage and commitment that can be touchy and emotional, and is something we all have experienced in some way, it never makes you feel uncomfortable. The music is classic Sondheim, meaning it is simply wonderful. There is humor, and
the cast, without exception, is a joy to watch
the cast, without exception, is a joy to watch.
As I was leaving the theatre two moments stayed in my thoughts. One is when Amy, who is engaged to be married but is getting cold feet, tells Bobby “You are afraid not to get married, and I am afraid to get married.” The other was the song “Marry Me A Little” sung by Bobby. He is onto something.
There is not a bad seat at the Lyric Stage, but they are limited. I recommend you get tickets soon before it sells out as it most certainly will. Don’t wait. who knows when the gods will send us another production as fine as this one.
Company now through October 9th at The Lyric Stage, 140 Clarendon Street, Copley Square, Boston. 617.585.5678