National tour of award-winning Camelot arrives at Civic Center 

click to enlarge SCOTT SUCHMAN
  • SCOTT SUCHMAN

The national tour of Lerner and Loewe’s Tony Award-winning Camelot comes to the Civic Center this week with a very special role for two young, local actors.

Based on the T.H. White novel The Once and Future King, Camelot reinvents the legendary tale of King Arthur and his knights of the round table through song.

The story follows the reign of Arthur, who brought peace to his land but was blind to the betrayal by those he loved most. When Queen Guinevere and Arthur’s most trusted knight, Sir Lancelot, fall in love, it throws the kingdom into chaos.

Actor Tim Rogan, who plays Lancelot, grew up listening to the score of Camelot, as it was a favorite of his mother. He said that the revisions in this new production improved the piece by making the iconic love triangle the story’s focus.

“Now, we really get to see how Lancelot and Guinevere struggle with what is happening between them rather than giving in so easily to their own chemistry,” Rogan said.

click to enlarge SCOTT SUCHMAN
  • SCOTT SUCHMAN

Rogan said that the cast focuses on that humanity to bring these characters to life and ground them to the world in which they live.

“Ultimately, it is the relationships between characters that people care most about,” Rogan said. “It is very fun knowing that Lancelot is an ultimate warrior who was raised by the enchantress, Nimue, by a lake. However, what captivates people is seeing him struggle between his dedication to duty and his heart.”

Rogan said that Lancelot is also fun to perform because of his near-comical earnestness.

“He has some very humorous lines that come across as almost Vulcanlike,” Rogan said.

Taking a cue from another Arthurian adaptation, The Sword and the Stone, to “let the boy try,” Camelot’s promotion company, Oklahoma-based Celebrity Attractions, is holding a contest in each city on this tour to double-cast actors in the role of Tom of Warwick, a boy whose dream of knighthood gives Arthur hope.

Local finalists are Producer’s Choice Harrison Roth, a sixth-grader at Irving Middle School, and People’s Choice Jack Baldwin, a fifth-grader at Eisenhower Elementary School.

Roth has performed in several productions at The Sooner Theatre, which he credits for helping him land the part.

“I have dreams of acting and being on stage, and now I feel like some of my dreams are coming true … Working with a Broadway tour is so cool,” Roth said.

Baldwin, with a music background that includes playing guitar and singing, echoed Roth’s enthusiasm.

“I am so excited because I feel like I am part of something big. It’s a chance of a lifetime,” Baldwin said.

Rogan said that it has been a great experience sharing the stage with young actors from all over the country.

“I joke how I was nowhere near brave enough, when I was their age, to do what they are doing,” Rogan said.

Print headline: Valor betrayed, This touring production of Camelot is reimagined and retold with the help of two young, local actors.

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