May 31, 1992 |
Lancelot or Sir Gawain might have started like this. Jen Costello, dressed as a peasant, practices her jousting technique on a four-wheel "horse" at the seventh graders' Renaissance Fair on May 21 at Sandy Run Middle School in Upper Dublin.
July 7, 1995 |
The recent outcry about the need for decency in Hollywood movies seems to have rubbed off on "First Knight," a version of the King Arthur legend with no Merlin, no magic sword and, most puzzling of all, no monkey business. That doesn't really leave much, although "First Knight" manages to fill the screen with enough swashbuckling to keep things interesting for a while. "First Knight" stars Richard Gere as Lancelot, famous in English legend as the knight who was perfectly chaste except that he wanted to have sex with the king's wife.
June 7, 2007 |
I once had a dog who had a walk-on role as King Pellinore's sidekick, Horrid, in a professional production of Lerner and Loewe's Camelot. My dog received scale wages, and as his legal guardian, I was obliged to watch the show sometimes several times a day for its entire two-month run. With these fond memories in mind, I was particularly intrigued and slightly alarmed to hear that Broadway Across America's new production of Camelot featured considerable tinkering...
July 7, 1995 |
Jerry Zucker, who's been itching to do his take on the Arthurian legend for years, has, in league with the seriously credentialed writer William Nicholson and the seriously miscast Richard Gere, come up with a wackily reimagined Lancelot. No longer the noble soldier of King Arthur's court, the Lancelot of First Knight - a romantic Middle Ages yarn of undeniable sweep and majesty - is a fearless scamp who lives by his sword and points the flaring nostrils of his trusty steed "wherever the road leads.
March 19, 1992 |
The dragon is an ordinary-looking fellow in a sequined black shirt, even if his roar does sound like the Concorde taking off. The mayor, who keeps the dragon supplied with meat, drink and virgins, is afflicted with every known nervous disease - plus three that haven't been identified yet - and periodically slips into a straitjacket to steady himself. The heroine's girlfriends are cardboard cutouts, borne by two live actors who prattle in Valley Girl patois. The hero prepares for battle by plopping an aqua bedpan on his head.
November 27, 1990 |
Promotional materials for "King Arthur in the Realm of the Dragon" suggest that the new Novel Stages production sprung on us last night at Stage III of Temple University's Center City campus is "the perfect holiday treat for the whole family. " I suspect they are talking about the Addams family. Among the holiday plums lodged herein are murder, mayhem, adultery, incest, treachery, witchery, bitchery and several assorted sins I can't think of the words for. And I looked in vain for 2 1/2 hours for the dragon.
March 19, 1992 |
Beware Russian farce and Russian fairy tales. Russian farce never works outside of Russia (or possibly inside of Russia, either) simply because the term is self-contradictory. While Russian fairy tales seem to fare rather well as themes in ballet, where buoyancy reigns, they tend to run afoul of a dreadful gravitational pull elsewhere in theater. "The Dragon," billed as "a fairy tale for grown-ups" by the Arden Theatre Co., was written by a Russian, one Yevgeny Shvartz, in 1942 and quickly went the way of all performance art which Soviet bureaucrats suspected of covertly ridiculing the Communist regime.
November 25, 1996 |
The turkey's not even stuffed and yet the first of the "holiday" productions is already upon us, in the form of "Camelot," an old chestnut now reborn at the Walnut Street Theater. Musically, this show's no stand-out. Relying more heavily on the telling of the tale of King Arthur, Guenevere, Lancelot and the rest of the Knights of the Round Table - and less on a string of memorable, toe-tapping tunes - "Camelot" hopes to hit more in the heart than anywhere else, and it is on this battleground that this production succeeds.
April 5, 1995 |
Though Excalibur was made of cardboard and King Arthur was only 42 inches tall, the legend of Camelot came alive once again last week with Wayne Elementary School's production of King Arthur. The play was an elaborate production of the tale from the Middle Ages, presented by the "First" Royal Acting Company - first graders in Ellese Schneider's and Nancy Churchman's classes. "The nice thing about traditional plays like this is everyone can get involved," Schneider said. "It's a good way to help boost the children's self-esteem.
March 4, 2013 |
Larry Brown, a coach who made many stops and hung around long enough to span several generations of NBA players, said the problem with today's group is that it doesn't understand the difference between coaching and criticism. That's a reasonable observation for old age to make about youth, but if you spin around the mirror, it's likely the players would say the same thing about coaches. The danger is deciding, as Brown and others have done, that any of this is really something new. As far back as Arthur and Lancelot, different generations working for the same team have disagreed about the coaching and execution of the plan.