A light snow falls. The great, burnt-out tree is now resplendent with snow. The carriage has stopped. Someone is getting out. The horses are pure white. Its plainly a bridal carriage.
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When Camelot began rehearsals, it still needed considerable work. The curtain came down at twenty minutes to one in the morning; Lerner later noted that "Only Tristan and Isolde equaled it as a bladder endurance contest. Soon afterwards, Lerner was hospitalised for three weeks with a bleeding ulcer. Soon after he was discharged, Hart suffered his second heart attack, and Lerner stepped in as temporary director for the rest of the out-of-town run. Camelot then moved to Boston, edited, but still running well over the intended length.
Lerner wrote: "God knows what would have happened had it not been for Richard Burton. Two songs, "Then You May Take Me To the Fair" and "Fie on Goodness," were cut a few months into the run though they remain on the cast album, and the former featured in the film.
They decided to do very little from their previous hit and instead to perform four highlights from Camelot. The show stimulated ticket sales, and Camelot achieved an unprecedented advance sale of three and a half million dollars. He died of a heart attack in Palm Springs, California, on December 20, Merlyn the Magician, his wise tutor, calls Arthur down to warn the young king that he must learn to think for himself. Merlyn, who lives backwards in time and remembers the future as well as the past, knows he will soon be separated from Arthur.
Merlyn persuades Arthur to climb down and chides him for his unkingly behavior. Arthur then left alone, ponders both his subjects and his own feelings about the intended nuptials "I Wonder What the King is Doing Tonight? Arthur hears someone coming and scampers up the tree again. She does not like the idea of being Queen, preferring to live an ordinary life- at least, an ordinary rich life- "Simple Joys of Maidenhood". She stumbles into Arthur, who initially calls himself "Wart" his childhood nickname and then, hearing of her reluctance to marry, tells her of the joys of life in Camelot "Camelot".
He is revealed as the King. He tells Guenevere the story of how he pulled the sword from the stone and became king, and she finally agrees to marry him. The wizard Merlyn is amused by this development, but his joy turns to sorrow as his memories of the future begin to fade. He realizes that Nimue , a beautiful water nymph, has come to draw him into her cave for an eternal sleep "Follow Me". He begs Nimue for answers, as he has forgotten if he has warned Arthur about two important individuals, Lancelot and Mordred.
His memories fade permanently, though, and he is led away. Five years later, Arthur sits with Guenevere in his study, debating about what to do. Guenevere takes an instant dislike to Lancelot. Time passes, and he makes an enemy of most of the knights. In the jousting match Lancelot easily defeats all three knights. He wounds Sir Lionel, who fights him last, so badly that the crowd thinks he is dead. Reflecting the adoration of the crowd, Guenevere finds herself falling in love with Lancelot.
By some unfortunate twist of fate, Lancelot, in spite of his boasts that he is immune to pleasures of the flesh, is also madly in love with Guenevere, and is similarly torn by the conflict between this love and his devotion to Arthur.
Arthur makes Lancelot a Knight of the Round Table. As it happens, the shrewd King Arthur guesses that Lancelot and Guenevere have feelings for each other, but hopes it will blow over, as he does not wish to upset the tranquility of Camelot. He soliloquizes to his sword Excalibur , that they will rise to the challenges they will all face, together. Act II[ edit ] Many years later, Guenevere and Lancelot are still tormented by their unfulfilled love.
They both believe that Arthur is not aware of it. Nevertheless, she remains faithful to Arthur, and helps him in carrying out the affairs of State.
Arthur begins to feel the strain of ruling England, and both he and Guenevere wonder what commoners do without any such responsibilities "What Do The Simple Folk Do? Mordred, meanwhile, has devised a plan to ruin Arthur and his kingdom permanently.
He enters an enchanted glade where his aunt, the sorceress Morgan le Fay, dwells in an invisible castle. Morgan has a sweet tooth, and though she likes Arthur, Mordred manages to bribe her with a large supply of sweetmeats, to build one of her invisible walls around Arthur for one night, so that when he goes on his hunting trip the next day, he will not be able to get back to the castle "The Persuasion".
Meanwhile, Mordred incites the Knights to remember their former days of fighting and pillaging, and turns them against Arthur "Fie On Goodness! With Arthur gone, Lancelot, unable to stop himself, visits Guenevere in her chambers, as Mordred fully suspected he would. Lancelot fights them off and escapes, but Guenevere is arrested, tried, found guilty of treason by reason of her infidelity, and sentenced to be burned at the stake "Guenevere". At the execution, Arthur watches from a distance as Mordred taunts him for his failures; he is torn between upholding his law and doing his duty as a king, or sparing Guenevere, whom he still loves in spite of everything.
At the last moment, Lancelot arrives with an army, rescues Guenevere and takes her off with him to France. But in the process, Lancelot has been forced to kill some of the other knights, leaving the survivors vowing revenge. For the sake of his own honor and that of Camelot, Arthur must now wage war against Lancelot.
Mordred has taken up his own army against Arthur, back in England. The war takes a terrible toll on Camelot, as more than half of the Knights of the Round Table are killed. Before the final battle, Arthur meets Lancelot and Guenevere. Guenevere has become a nun, and the Round Table is now broken.
They offer to face up to justice in England, but Arthur will not see Guenevere burned or Lancelot beheaded. He forgives them both, and they depart separately. That night in camp, Arthur meets a young stowaway named Tom of Warwick, who has come to join the Round Table.
His speech reminds Arthur of the idealism and hope that he had as a young king, and inspires him. Arthur knights Tom, and sends him back to England to grow up there, that he might pass on to future generations the ideals of chivalry and Camelot "Camelot" reprise. It won four Tony Awards. Truscott would later work on the film adaptation. The production, by the J. Williamson company, ran for two years. It played for performances. Harris, who had starred in the film, and Muenz also took the show on tour nationwide.
Another Broadway revival ran from June 21, to August 7, for 56 performances at the Gershwin Theatre , with Goulet now cast in the role of Arthur. The Morgan le Fay character was removed, as it had been in all previous productions since Camelot features a score rich in English country-tune charm by Mr.
Loewe [sic: Lerner wrote the lyrics], never fail to dazzle with their virtuosity and wit. Moreover, while the entire show rushes towards a bloody climax The score, though, is pure magic.
Camelot Libretto (Minus Prologue)
The synopsis below may give away important plot points. Synopsis During the opening credits, like the Broadway production, the studio orchestra plays a potpourri overture that features the "Camelot March" and the title song. The action begins in early morning darkness as a chorus sings a few lines from "Guenevere. Before a battle begins at dawn with Lancelot Franco Nero and his Joyous Gard knights, Arthur, talking as much to himself as to Merlyn, tries to determine where he went wrong.
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