The classic musical, which begins previews Sept. 20, had carried a nudity warning that was recently dropped, which led some to believe that North Shore had complied with theatregoers' complaints. That implication, according to North Shore artistic director and executive producer Jon Kimbell, is incorrect.
In a lengthy statement, Kimbell says, "North Shore Music Theatre works very hard to get the attention of the community for the great work we consistently do. But recently the nudity warning on our upcoming production of Camelot received quite a bit of attention. Who knew the word nudity was so powerful? No, the Knights of the Round Table will not be doing a striptease; this is not Naked Knights Singing! I will save the stripping for [the North Shore's upcoming production of] The Full Monty, where it belongs. Gabriel Barre has brilliantly conceived a beautiful production that NSMT is quite excited to reveal to Boston audiences. This production is earthy, passionate, and dare I say, sexy. In these times we are living in, I hope we can still be a little sexy.
"In marketing the show, our marketing team placed a nudity warning on the show upon hearing about some staging that may be considered risqué. Audience members could catch a glimpse of a naked body part, and we all know that seeing an exposed breast or buttock automatically leads one to a life of debauchery. We try to communicate accurately and honestly with our patrons. But the decision was recently made to not use the warning, as it was being misinterpreted to imply extended scenes of gratuitous nudity. This was not our intent.
"There have been rumors on the internet about NSMT 'caving in' to consumer complaints and removing the nudity. Yes, I have received complaints, as I do with every show I produce, from Hair to Annie. Be assured, Gabriel Barre's vision for our production of Camelot has not changed — the only thing that has been removed from Camelot is the nudity warning."
Joseph Dellger will head the cast of the North Shore Camelot as Arthur with Nili Bassman as Guenevere, Maxime Alvarez de Toledo as Lancelot, Josh Grisetti as Mordred, David Coffee as Pellinore and Adam Wylie as Merlin and Tom of Warwick. The 22-member ensemble comprises Kym Chambers, Michelle Liu Coughlin, Kelly Crandall, Vibecke Dahle, Shawn J. Davis, Michelle Dyer, Jessica Hartman, Joseph Jackson, Sae La Chin, Jeff Metzler, Lauren Parsons, Joe Reid, Vincent Rodriguez III, Sal Sabella, Dana Steer and Jeremy Stolle. Camelot — directed by Gabriel Barre — will officially open Sept. 22 and will run through Oct. 9. The creative team for the musical also includes Bill Stanley (music director), Patricia Wilcox (choreographer), Jerome Martin (scenic designer), Jack Mehler (lighting designer), Pamela Scofield (costume designer), John A. Stone (sound designer) and Gerard Kelly (hair and wig designer).
Camelot — featuring music by Frederick Loewe and book and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner — originally opened at Broadway’s Majestic Theatre in Dec. 1960, playing 873 performances before closing Jan. 5, 1963. The premiere company included Richard Burton, Julie Andrews, Robert Goulet, Robert Coote, John Cullum and Roddy McDowall. The classic Lerner and Loewe score boasts such tunes as "If Ever I Would Leave You," "I Loved You Once in Silence," "Follow Me," "I Wonder What the King Is Doing Tonight" and the title tune.
Tickets are available by calling (800) 447-7400 or by visiting the Shubert Theatre box office at 265 Tremont Street in Boston, MA. Visit www.nsmt.org for more information.
Camelot is being presented at the Shubert Theatre due to the recent fire at the North Shore's home base in Beverly, MA.