May 18, 1986 |
At the age of 5, Norma Lorre Goodrich taught herself to read, in her words, by "doping out" "The Idylls of the King." She is still, albeit on a considerably more sophisticated level, "doping out" the life of King Arthur.
August 13, 2005 |
It might be an experience British actor Jeremy Irons would just as soon forget: bluffing his way through a mid-'80s performance in London as "My Fair Lady's" Henry Higgins, with conductor John Mauceri feeding him his lines onstage. Mauceri, conductor of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, recounted this tale of theatrical woe the other day during a break from rehearsing the musical "Camelot," which will open and close Sunday night at the Bowl and star Irons as King Arthur.
June 2, 1996 |
Whether lettered in gold in a fragile 16th century manuscript, glorified in the Lerner-Loewe musical "Camelot" or lampooned in the 1975 movie "Monty Python and the Holy Grail," the medieval tale of Arthur, King of Britain, has endured for 1,500 years.
March 5, 1992 |
Hank Morgan's high school science project goes awry, and the young inventor is thrust back in history--and across the Atlantic--to Arthurian England. That's the premise of Tim Kelly's script for "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court," a farcical updating of Mark Twain's classic story with songs by Larry Nestor.
October 31, 1991 |
"To be or not to be?" Perhaps the most famous line Shakespeare ever wrote. Instantly you associate it with Hamlet's soliloquy, questioning the fundamentals of his existence. But not so fast. For in this case the speaker on stage is not the melancholy Dane at all, but Merlin, the wizard tutor to young Arthur (of Round Table fame), pondering whether it's nobler to dress in drag to conceal himself amid a host of courtly intrigues.
November 14, 1999 |
When William Christie arrived in Paris in 1971, a young music scholar eager to explore his passion for the French Baroque at its source, he found the natives more enamored with modern compositions, instruments and techniques. Like so much cultural baggage, the French had tucked their impressive musical heritage--Rameau, Lully, Charpentier, Couperin and other composers--away in the archives. "You say to yourself, 'Why aren't they doing it?'
August 13, 2000 |
I started my search for King Arthur on a local train in the company of a bunch of surfers on holiday from gritty Manchester. We all were going to Newquay, and they wanted to talk about the Jerry Springer show. It was hard to picture Arthur and his knights in the flat green landscape of Cornwall rolling by outside. I've always been fond of Arthur's story and the promise of Camelot, even though it is a bittersweet tale without a happy ending.
March 18, 2007 |
IT'S a dark and crowded theater in New York. The curtain has only been up five minutes, and Steve Wynn, the billionaire owner of the Wynn Las Vegas hotel, leans in, grips my knee and whispers in my ear: "Eric," he says, "this will be great in Las Vegas. " "Yes," I say, "it will. " Then I realize, slightly disappointedly, he means "Spamalot. " My future as a billionaire's date is still up for grabs. "Can I give you a ride home?" he asks nicely. I'm thinking 6th Avenue, but he means L.A. Well, OK. He flies us home in a plane bigger than my boarding school.
April 27, 2012 |
Behind the action of Simon Armitage's marvelous translation of the Middle English epic "The Death of King Arthur" (W.W. Norton: 306 pp., $26.95), there's an unmistakable mood of bitterness. It has nothing to do with Arthur's fate -- yes, there's plenty of bitter sorrow after Arthur's last battle against Mordred, but that's not what I'm talking about. There's another, different bitterness here that belongs to the anonymous maker of this poem, which appeared long before Thomas Malory ever celebrated the legendary warrior-king in his prose "Le Morte D'Arthur.
July 7, 1995 |
Wary filmgoers with long memories have learned the hard way what to avoid. Those who survived "Yes, Giorgio" won't be rushing to see Luciano Pavarotti as a romantic lead any time soon, just as veterans of "The Jazz Singer" were not disturbed that Laurence Olivier never managed another film with Neil Diamond. And anyone who made it through "King David" knows that taking Richard Gere out of the 20th Century is an extremely risky proposition.