This CD is limited to 1000 copies
Adapted from T.H. White’s The Once And Future King, Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe’s Camelot was one of the most highly anticipated shows imaginable. After all, their previous show had been one of the biggest Broadway success stories in history – the huge smash hit My Fair Lady. And they’d had the big success of Gigi on the screen. Add to that a stunning cast of Richard Burton, Julie Andrews, Roddy McDowell, and Robert Goulet making his Broadway debut. Then Moss Hart as director, Oliver Smith for sets, costumes by Adrian (who died before the show went into rehearsals) and Tony Duquette, and with an advance sale that was the largest in musical theatre history, well, what could possibly go wrong? As it turned out, the road was rocky to Camelot, but despite the travails on the road to Broadway, the show had a healthy 873 performance run, and had several tours, several revivals, a film version, and lots of other productions since.
The show won four Tony Awards, the original Broadway cast album spent sixty weeks at the top of the Billboard chart, and the score spawned several standards. And, in 1964, the show made its London debut. Opening at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane on August 19th, producer Jack Hylton’s production of Camelot sported a stellar cast, including film star Laurence Harvey as Arthur, Elizabeth Larner as Guenevere) and Barry Kent as Lancelot. Critic Harold Hobson said of Harvey’s Arthur, “I count this performance as amongst the big theatrical experiences of my life.” The production was directed and choreographed by Robert Helpmann, with scenery and costumes by John Truscott and lighting by Richard Pilbrow. The show ran 518 performances.
What becomes clear in every revival or presentation of the show is that the score by Lerner and Loewe is one of the most glorious in all musical theater. Whatever deficiencies the book may or may not have, the score just overpowers them.
The London cast album is a treasure. It feels quite different than its Broadway counterpart and includes “The Jousts” that wasn’t on the original Broadway cast album. Harvey is a great King Arthur, and Larner is a wonderful Guenevere. Their performances are reason enough to cherish the London recording, but the whole thing has a vibrancy and sheen that is terrific, and that score – one great song after another – I think it’s safe use the old saw that they don’t write ‘em like this anymore. - Kritzerland
The CD was mastered from the original tapes from the EMI vaults in the UK.
2. IWonderWhat The King Is Doing Tonight? ~ Laurence Harvey
3. The Simple Joys Of Maidenhood ~ Elizabeth Larner
4. Camelot ~ Laurence Harvey and Elizabeth Larner
5. Follow Me ~ Josephine Gordon
6. C’est Moi ~ Barry Kent
7. The Lusty Month Of May ~ Elizabeth Larner and Ensemble
8. Take Me To The Fair ~ Elizabeth Larner, Knights and Ensemble
9. HowTo Handle AWoman ~ Laurence Harvey
10. The Jousts ~ Laurence Harvey, Elizabeth Larner and Ensemble
11. Before I Gaze AtYou Again ~ Elizabeth Larner
12. Fie On Goodness ~ Knights and Male Ensemble
13. If Ever IWould LeaveYou ~ Barry Kent
14. The Seven Deadly Virtues ~ Nicky Henson
15.What Do The Simple Folk Do? ~ Laurence Harvey and Elizabeth Larner
16. I Loved Him Once In Silence ~ Elizabeth Larner
17. Camelot (reprise) ~ Laurence Harvey, KitWilliams and Ensemble