Will Liam Neeson Be Crowned New King of Camelot on Broadway in 2004?

News   Will Liam Neeson Be Crowned New King of Camelot on Broadway in 2004?
A Broadway revival of the Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe musical, Camelot, starring Liam Neeson as King Arthur, is in the works for a 2004 start, according to sources in the New York theatre community.
Liam Neeson
Liam Neeson

Casting out of Jim Carnahan's office is ongoing this month, Playbill On-Line learned. Roundabout Theatre Company was thought to be producer of the revival, according to sources, but a spokesman for the company said the not-for-profit is not involved.

Edward Hall has been mentioned as director of Camelot, with Paul Bogaev serving as music director.

Neeson's representatives could not be reached at press time.

The story of Camelot follows the legendary love triangle between King Arthur, his Queen Guenevere and the young Lancelot. The classic 1960 show, with book and lyrics by Lerner and music by Loewe, is based on the T. H. White novel "The Once and Future King." Moss Hart was the original show's director.

Neeson made his Broadway debut with the Roundabout Theatre Company in the 1993 revival of Anna Christie, co-starring Natasha Richardson, which garnered the Irish-born actor a Tony Award nomination and led to the couple's marriage. Fantasy casting for musical theatre buffs would have Richardson (star of Roundabout's Cabaret) play Guenevere — a role her mother, Vanessa Redgrave, played in the 1967 film. Neeson subsquently appeared on Broadway in The Judas Kiss and The Crucible, taking his second Tony nod for the latter. As a film actor, Neeson has appeared in "Schindler's List," "Nell," "Les Misérables," "Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace," "Gangs of New York" and "Love Actually." He is set to star in the upcoming film by "Chicago" screenwriter Bill Condon, titled "Kinsey."

Camelot originally opened at Broadway's Majestic Theatre in Dec. 1960, playing 873 performances before closing Jan. 5, 1963. The original cast included Richard Burton (who won a Tony Award for his turn as Arthur), Julie Andrews, Robert Goulet, John Cullum and Roddy McDowall. The score features such songs 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 song.

There had been talk recently of a Broadway-bound national tour of Camelot for 2004-05, with Glenn Casale as director and Tom McCoy, Elizabeth Williams and Anita Waxman attached as producers. Casale's participation ended in 2003 as plans continued to develop.

Arena Stage in Washington, DC, is currently reviving the show under the direction of Molly Smith.

Considering how the musical sticks in the collective imagination, particularly its title song, which was linked to the administration of John F. Kennedy, Camelot was not nominated for a Best Musical Tony Award in 1961.

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