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Review of Camelot at Chanhassen Dinner Theatre

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Quote of the Day:

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

from the musical Camelot, playing now through February 25, 2017, at the Chanhassen Dinner Theatres, a lovely play for the winter months about another time, another place, where a King dreams of reigning in times of Peace and Harmony. But, alas, human passions and folly make that impossible.

 

Camelot at Chanhassen Dinner Theatres, Fall 2016-February 2017. Photo by Heidi Bohnenkamp

Camelot at Chanhassen Dinner Theatres, Fall 2016-February 2017.
Photo by Heidi Bohnenkamp

The Chanhassen Dinner Theatres’ Camelot is good old-fashioned musical theater that you know and love. They have all the things: King, queen, forbidden love, secrets, a love child, ambition, passion, prophecy, magic, romance, beautiful music, and sword play. I saw a beefed up, re-imagined, version of Camelot on tour at the Ordway a couple years ago. It was good. The set was pretty snazzy, but it didn’t have the same feel. Leave it to CDT to stick to tradition and do what they do best, give you a lovely night of good food, great service, and a delightful show that you can bring the whole family to, or enjoy a night out with a dear friend or your honey. 

Helen Anker (formerly seen at the Guthrie as Eliza Doolittle) is charming as Queen Guenevere. Her voice is light and lovely. You can see all the emotions on her gorgeously expressive face. You even feel a bit of that guilt and ache as she’s torn between her King and friend, and the man she loves. It’s one of those relationships where the couple are good friends, but Lancelot is the man that stirs her heart.

Keith Rice (Arthur), Helen Anker (Guenevere), Aleks Knezevich (Lancelot) and the company in CDT's production of Camelot, playing through February 2017. Photo by Heidi Bohnenkamp

Keith Rice (Arthur), Helen Anker (Guenevere), Aleks Knezevich (Lancelot) and the company in CDT’s production of Camelot, playing through February 2017.
Photo by Heidi Bohnenkamp

Aleks Knezevich (who played Gaston in CDT’s Beauty and the Beast) is a handsome, strong, and sad Lancelot. He makes us chuckle with his C’est Moi, and melt just a little at If Ever I Would Leave You. Lancelot is one of my favorite characters from the Arthurian legends. I know he moves in on his best friend and King’s girl, but he can’t help himself. He’s dashing and brave and tries to be good. He’s willing to go away, but that darn Mordred comes in and stirs the pot. Curse you, Mordred!

Keith Rice as Arthur, Renee Guittar as Nimue (a spirit) in CDT's production of Camelot. Photo by Heidi Bohnenkamp

Keith Rice as Arthur, Renee Guittar as Nimue (a spirit) in CDT’s production of Camelot.
Photo by Heidi Bohnenkamp

And, Arthur, played brilliantly by Keith Rice (over 40 CDT productions) really wants a peaceful kingdom. “Let’s seat all the knights at a round table,” he declares, “Where no one is placed higher than the other.” But, male testosterone and aggression get the better of that idea, and as soon as they find one little excuse, like the Queen cheating on the King, they rage war on each other. 

Camelot directed by Michael Brindisi is playing at Chanhassen Dinner Theatres through February 25, 2017. Enjoy a little escape into the world of Kings and Queens, chivalry, and romance.

I would like to thank the Chanhassen Dinner Theatre for including me in the press invites for Opening Night. I enjoyed a lovely evening with a few of the other Twin Cities Theater Bloggers and my dear friend Patti.

Go. Create. Inspire!

Journaling Prompt: Who are your favorite characters from Medieval times?

  1. Definitely one of the best stories ever written. 🙂

    Anna from elements of emaginette

  2. It looks like a stunning production. Honestly, I’m wishing I could go and see it for myself.

  3. Great review! I’m not sure I have any favourite characters from medieval times, but I did love the Dragonlance series, which seemed like it was set in the same era. Does that count? 🙂 If so, my favourite character was Tanis Half-elf.

    I have no idea how you manage to see so many plays! I’m in awe.

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