Alton Little Theater has a big way to close its 84th season beginning May 11.
ALT will conclude this year with the big-hearted musical "CAMELOT."
ALT's Lee Cox said "CAMELOT" is a classic musical, which hopefully will introduce new and even seasoned audiences to a beautiful story set against a glorious score.
The original Broadway Production premiered in 1960 by Lerner & Loewe (on the heels of their acclaimed "MY FAIR LADY"; Leading Director Moss Hart took on directing duties because as a boy he had become enthralled with the book."
The Once and Future King by T. H. White. And "CAMELOT" secured Arthurian legend in people's hearts and minds - novels, movies and even parodies like "Spamelot" owe their success to the three Broadway revivals and national tours of the well-crafted story of love and honor and courage and chivalry. King Arthur's wish for a world where " Might exists For Right" instead of " Might is Right" is a subtle but powerful concept in a world looking for positive role models - whether in the 1400s or now.
"ALT cannot produce all the pageantry and scene changes of a huge Broadway production - but the essence of three people who grow to deeply love each other - and yet lose everything except their honor - is a lesson well worth seeing again," Cox said.
Cox said she chose the musical to end the 84th season at the theater because of its portrayal of struggle and endurance - "something she and the oldest community theater in the state of Illinois know a little about."
Cox said she is very proud that twenty-one talented performers, supported by a live orchestra, take on the quest. Sue Parton Stanard and David Drillinger complete the directing team so that audiences can hear the magnificence of songs like "Camelot," "If Ever I Would Leave You," "The Lusty Month of May," "How to Handle a Woman," "I Loved You Once in Silence" - and more.
King Arthur is portrayed by Kevin Frakes, Lancelot by Kurtis Leible and newcomer Jessica McCrawley takes on the iconic role of Guinevere- a young princess torn between love for her beloved husband and a passionate love for a dashing knight. The company is led by Brant McCance, playing dual roles as Merlyn and King Pellinore and Zac Coffman ( Modred), Kathy Brendenkoetter ( Morgan Le Fey), Lorian Wardford (Tom of Warwick), Addie Gramelspacher ( Nimue), and Sawyer Burton ( Sir Dinandan) complete the featured players and Tristan Ferendzo, Kelly Hougland, Kayla Robinson, Brittany McCrady, Cheri Hawkins, Elizabeth Foley, Mary, Jeremy and Daniel Crank, and Nadja and Jen Kapetanovich take on multiple roles as Lords, Ladies, Knights, Wood Fairies and peasants of the Magical land known as "CAMELOT."
The musical will be staged in a "panoramic" style so that audiences can feel they are part of the story from the beginning and enjoy the bits of whimsy, magic, humor, and dance that Cox and McCance and Mary Grace Brueggerman have added in. The Costumes, the authentic swords, the incredible lyrics of the songs all make for Grand Theater.
The musical plays for nine performances May 11th through20th with a special raffle of gifts for all women in attendance on Mother's Day (May 13th). Patrons will also have the last opportunity to purchase a season ticket for the 85th season with 40 percent off the door sales prices during the run of "CAMELOT." Indeed, "CAMELOT" has re-inspired the ALT board of directors to envision a bigger and better world and theater - and the 85th season will surely deliver the very best entertainment value in the area - with love and courage.