Palm Beach Dramaworks, West Palm Beach’s multi-award-winning professional theater, has announced the premiere of its Musical Theatre Masters Series. Modeled after Dramaworks’ very popular Master Playwrights Series, the new series will kick off on Jan. 11 at 8 p.m., with a concert of Camelot, the final Broadway musical from the team of Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe. Tickets are on sale now.
The remaining performances will take place Jan. 12 at 2 and 8 p.m., and Jan. 13 at 2 p.m. The series will be directed by Clive Cholerton, former artistic director of the Caldwell Theatre Company in Boca Raton. The musical director for Camelot is Caryl Fantel.
Two additional shows, to be determined, will be presented in the summer, when the series will expand to two segments: a lecture on the lives and careers of the artists who created the show and, on separate days, a presentation of the musical in concert.
“As we continue to grow, we think it’s important to add a musical component to our theatre,” Palm Beach Dramaworks Producing Artistic Director William Hayes said. “We want to offer our devoted audience as many options as we possibly can. Our Master Playwrights Series has been so successful that we thought we could use a similar format for musicals, to provide our audience with more theatre to think about. The concerts, which will be performed with limited instrumental accompaniment — Camelot will have just a piano — will include the entire score and book of each show. When you strip away sets and costumes, it enables an audience to really focus on the words.”
Camelot, based on T. H. White’s novel The Once and Future King, is the story of the legendary King Arthur, his utopian vision, and the heartbreaking love triangle that destroys his enchanted kingdom. In his desire to become “the most splendid king who ever sat on any throne,” Arthur establishes the Knights of the Round Table, men who will fight only to uphold honor, chivalry and civilization. Among those knights is the noble, righteous Lancelot du Lac, Arthur’s best friend. When Lancelot and Queen Guenevere fall in love, their affair ends the “one brief shining moment that was known as Camelot.”
The score includes “If Ever I Would Leave You,” “I Wonder What the King Is Doing Tonight,” “How to Handle a Woman, “What Do the Simple Folk Do?” and the title song. The original production, which opened in 1960 and ran for 873 performances, starred Richard Burton, Julie Andrews and Robert Goulet, and was directed by Moss Hart.
Cholerton has had considerable success directing classic musicals in concert, having staged Sunday in the Park with George, Into the Woods, Follies and The Secret Garden at the Caldwell.
The performance schedule for Camelot is as follows: evening performances will take place at 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 11 and Saturday, Jan. 12. Matinee performances will take place at 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 12 and Sunday, Jan. 13. All tickets cost $35. Student tickets $10 and group rates for 20 or more are also available.
Dramaworks’ Don & Ann Brown Theater is located at 201 Clematis Street. For more information, call the box office at (561) 514-4042, open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sundays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Mondays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., or visit www.palmbeachdramaworks.org.