Rachel York Will Be Camelot's Guenevere in New North American Tour

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07 Nov 2006

Rachel York
Rachel York
Drama Desk Award winner Rachel York will be torn between two lovers as Guenevere in the new national touring production of Camelot, Playbill.com has learned.

York, a veteran of Broadway's Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Sly Fox, The Scarlet Pimpernel, City of Angels and Victor/Victoria (for which she received the Drama Desk) will play one point in a romantic triangle that includes James Barbour as Lancelot and Michael York as King Arthur in the Lerner and Loewe musical.

Rachel York earned solid reviews co-starring in the musical Dessa Rose for Lincoln Center Theater. Michael York is remembered for starring in the film "Cabaret."

Barbour was the brooding Rochester in the musical Jane Eyre on Broadway. His most recent Broadway appearance was in Assassins for Roundabout Theatre Company. He has also been attached to readings of the new musical A Tale of Two Cities.

The Glenn Casale-directed production of the musical by Alan Jay Lerner (book and lyrics) and Frederick Loewe (music) will launch Jan. 9-28, 2007, at La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts in California. The tour begins Jan. 30 in San Jose.



The 1960 musical is based on T.H. White's "The Once and Future King."

Alan Jay Lerner's son, Michael Lerner, is contributing changes to the libretto of the property, which, despite its popularity, is considered to be something of a hodge-podge — part historic epic, part magic fantasy, part ballad-laden soap opera. Even during in its original run, the creators tinkered with the score.

As previously announced, the Camelot creative team also includes choreographer Dan Mojica, set designer John Iacovelli, prop designer Aaron King, sound designer Julie Ferrin, lighting designer Tom Ruzika and musical director Craig Barna. Casale, Barna and Iacovelli were among those responsible for breathing new life into Peter Pan in the last decade.

The tour will play at least 25 weeks in the first season with many more in a second season.

McCoy Rigby Entertainment, Nederlander Organization, Live Nation, Liza Lerner and Waxman Williams Entertainment, in association with others, will produce the new staging of the musical fantasy, with Michael York as conflicted King Arthur, whose kingdom is threatened by enemies, and whose personal life shatters his political one.

As previously reported, the cast will also include Shannon Stoeke (Mordred), Time Winters (Pellinore), Eric Anderson (Merlyn), Tavis Danz (Young Arthur), Stuart Ambrose, Daniel Guzman, Robert J. Townsend, Alan M-L Wager, Shannon Warne, Sandi DeGeorge, Sandy Hawker, Monica Louwerens, Megan Bayha, Suzanne Carlton, Joanna Louise, Leah Seminario, Grant Rosen, John B. Williford, Vincent Zamora, Venny Caranza, Jill Townsend and Joseph Sark.

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Camelot was propelled to success partly on the reputation of composer Frederick Loewe and lyricist-librettist Alan Jay Lerner (whose previous hit was My Fair Lady), partly because it got solid play on "The Ed Sullivan Show" and partly because of its stars — Julie Andrews as Guenevere and Richard Burton as Arthur.

It ran 873 performances on Broadway. Touring revivals have popped up over the years, starring the Arthurs of Burton, then Richard Harris, then Robert Goulet (who graduated to Arthur after originating Lancelot in 1960).

There is a wealth of musical material in the score, including one song ("Then You May Take Me to the Fair") that made it to the cast album but was cut after opening (and is usually cut out of revivals).

The title song about an idealized realm became associated with the John F. Kennedy administration.

The score — charting political and personal passions of Arthur, his Queen and their loves and enemies — includes "Follow Me," "How to Handle a Woman," "I Loved You Once in Silence," "If Ever I Would Leave You," "The Lusty Month of May," "The Simple Joys of Maidenhood," "What Do the Simple Folk Do?," "C'est Moi," "Guenevere," "I Wonder What the King is Doing Tonight," "Fie on Goodness," "The Seven Deadly Virtues" and "Before I Gaze at You Again."

The legend of King Arthur is a fictional, ancient account of the start of the democratic ideas in a woolly and barbaric England.

Camelot has been announced for a number of markets in 2007, including Seattle at 5th Avenue Theatre.