December 3 – Happily-Ever-Aftering in Camelot!

Posted on December 3, 2018

The date: December 3, 1960.
The place: The Majestic Theatre, Broadway, New York City
The event: The Broadway opening of the musical Camelot

After having drastically loooooonnnnnngggg shows in Toronto and Boston (the premiere in Toronto ran almost four-and-a-half hours!), Camelot opened on Broadway with a talented cast but mixed reviews. 

Still, it was popular: the musical ran on Broadway for 873 performances, won four Tony Awards, became a hit album for 60 weeks, and inspired many revivals and foreign productions and a movie!

This depiction of Camelot is by
Tobias Roetsch
Camelot is the name of a place of legend - the home and castle of King Arthur and Queen Guinevere. King Arthur was said to have lived in early Britain - a time of knights and ladies and quests for the Holy Grail. "They" say that Arthur built a Round Table where his knights, including his loyal friend Sir Lancelot, would meet and talk with him. "They" say that Arthur had a magical sword called Excalibur - a sword he pulled from a stone as a young boy, proving his worth to be king. "They" even say that the young Arthur was taught by a wizard named Merlin.

The Sword in the Stone isn't the only legend about
Excalibur - there is also a legend about the sword and
 the Lady of the Lake.

All of that sounds like myths, right? And although there may be some real guy at the bottom of all the fabulous stories, or maybe not, for sure most of the tale of King Arthur and Camelot is fiction. 

Nothing wrong with fiction!

Remember I mentioned that the original cast of Camelot released a popular album? Well, not only did many folks in the United States listen to their Camelot LPs over and over again, even President Kennedy loved listening to the album. According to his wife, Kennedy had some favorite lines:
Don't let it be forgot
That once there was a spot
For one brief, shining moment
That was known as Camelot.
The thing is, President Kennedy's administration was cut short by an assassin, and looking back, many people felt that having the relatively young and charismatic president for such a little time was a sort of "brief, shining moment." And so now the idea of Camelot - the idea of a fantastic place, a place of romance and chivalry, a place that is hard to achieve and harder yet to hold onto - is associated with the Kennedy Administration.

Check out some Camelot videos, such as these here and here

Like the legends of King Arthur and his Round Table, the images on the Pinterest page "All Things Camelot" are equal parts mysterious and alluring.

What did King Arthur and Queen Guinevere look like?
Well, since they probably never existed:
Any way you like!

Plan ahead:

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1 comment:

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