"one brief, shining moment" as Lerner and Loewe envisioned itâ€”live on a Broadway stage. Working at the top of his talent, Richard Harris heads an all-star cast in one of Broadwayâ€™s wittiest, most literate musicals, filled with memorable tunes. Recorded at New Yorkâ€™s historic Winter Garden Theatre in 1982, this production captures all the immediacy and intimacy of a live performance viewed from the best seat in the house.
Idealistic King Arthur longs to create a perfectly principled kingdom, but sees his dream undone by a tragic love triangle involving Queen Guenevere (Meg Bussert) and his best friend Lancelot (Richard Muenz). In this thoroughly engaging Tony®-nominated production, the medieval monarchâ€™s visionâ€”a place where "violence is not strength, and compassion is not weakness"â€”speaks to our time and for all time.
Recommended for family viewing by the National Education Association
DVD SPECIAL FEATURES INCLUDE original Broadway PLAYBILLÂ® (DVD-ROM) and bios of Lerner & Loewe and Richard Harris. A live-on-stage performance filmed for HBO in 1982, Camelot returns Richard Harris to the role he immortalized on film in 1967. Harris replaced the original King Arthur, Richard Burton, in this revival production as it was on its way to New York's Winter Garden Theatre, which turned out to be Harris' only role on the Broadway stage. Fifteen years later, he's an older and wiser Arthur, a little more world-weary but still with a twinkle in his eye. He's paired with Meg Bussert, whose Guinevere is not as beautiful as Vanessa Redgrave in the film, but a better singer and appropriately younger. Bussert, who was Tony-nominated for her role in Brigadoon the year before, sounds eerily like original Broadway star Julie Andrews at times. Richard Muenz (The Most Happy Fella revival) plays Lancelot, Barrie Ingham plays Pellinore, and Richard Backus is Mordred. Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe's score is still a great classic, and here two songs cut from the movie are restored, "Before I Gaze at You Again" and "The Seven Deadly Virtues," but inexplicably cut is "Then You May Take Me to the Fair." Not surprisingly the production has a more stagebound feel compared to the sumptuous feature film, but it's good to have a more faithful version of the show available on DVD. --David Horiuchi