A Lovely Return to Camelot at North Coast Rep

On the relatively small stage, the realm of Camelot has been lovingly recreated in North County San Diego. The musical is one of a handful of productions from Broadway’s “Golden Age” and it withstands the test of time. Originally Based on The Once and Future King by T.H. White with book and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner and music by Frederick Loewe, the current production is directed ably by Jeffrey B. Moss.

With much to do about chivalry, the first act unfolds and at times I found myself swinging through some fond collections of Monty Python, but then I became surprisingly involved with the evolving plot. At least one number (“The Lusty Month of May”) almost seems like a parody and perhaps it was when first staged, but other songs reveal the elegant and now timeless melodies that have resonated across the decades. Jered McLenigan as Arthur evolves from a self-admitted dimwit into someone with a bit more spine and vision. When Lancelot (the commanding Brian Krinsky) appears from across the Channel, his Gallic bombast is far from welcomed by Queen Guenevere yet embraced by King Arthur.


Grandiose visions of using might only for right and creating a round table for all knights to be equal is Arthur’s somewhat unreachable goal. As Guenevere Lauren Weinberg (intentionally or not) wonderfully channels Julie Andrews, who famously assayed the role in 1960 opposite Richard (Arthur) Burton and Robert (Lancelot) Goulet.

The supporting cast at North Coast Rep is solid with Elias Wygodny, Jacob Caltrider and Scott Hurst Jr. as the three knights, and includes Jason Heil handling the roles of Merlin and a knight. Nick Apostolina grabs the spotlight in the second act as Mordred.


The lighting by Matthew Novotny is especially effective, blending primary colors during intense moments and moving to secondary and tertiary colors as the mood evolves. Musical Director Daniel Lincoln leads a talented group of musicians (Mark Margolies, Jacob Thompson and Kiersten Smith), all in support of the cast’s solid vocal abilities. Indeed, at one point it seemed sound designer Matt Fitzgerald sensibly turned off Krinsky’s mic as the latter’s booming vocals need no amplification.

The musical revisits the seemingly timeless and certainly timely issue of wheher anyone is above the law. For more than a brief shining moment, “Camelot” glitters on the North Coast Rep stage.


The run has been extended through the end of the month, tickets available here.

Brad Auerbach has been a journalist and editor covering the media, entertainment, travel and technology scene for many years. He has written for Forbes, Time Out London, SPIN, Village Voice, LA Weekly and early in his career won a New York State College Journalism Award.