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Hale's 'Camelot' is lyrical, lovely

But opening night hampered by thuds, slips and stumbles

Gabriel Hamilton (Lancelot), left, Christy Rae Turnbow (Guenevere) and Joseph Paur (King Arthur) star in Hale Centre Theatre's "Camelot."
Gabriel Hamilton (Lancelot), left, Christy Rae Turnbow (Guenevere) and Joseph Paur (King Arthur) star in Hale Centre Theatre's "Camelot."
Doug Carter, Hale Centre Theatre

CAMELOT, Hale Centre Theatre, 3333 S. Decker Lake Drive, West Valley City, through Nov. 26 (984-9000). Running time: two hours, 45 minutes (one intermission).

WEST VALLEY CITY — The Hale Centre Theatre's production of Lerner and Loewe's "Camelot" accentuates the songs.

Christy Rae Turnbow, who plays Guenevere; Joseph Paur as Arthur; and Gabriel Hamilton, who plays Lancelot, can all sing nicely. So, too, can the supporting cast, including Deena Marie Manzanares, who plays Lady Anne.

For the audience, the time passed quickly on Monday night. How soon we went from Guenevere's light-hearted "Simple Joys of Maidenhood" — in which she longs to have a battle fought for her — to the last sad scene on a field of war.

The production passed quickly and enjoyably, even though it had not quite gelled on opening night.

The singing, costumes and sets are lovely. The castle interior is especially charming, as Guenevere embroiders with thread that is big enough for us to see. (Directors are John and Tamara Adams with set design by Andrew Barrus and costumes by Jolene Ashcraft.)

But there were a few too many thuds, slips and stumbles on Monday night. For example, the king and queen were late for the joust, which made it seem less than urgent.

Also — and this can't really be called a criticism — the lighting loves Paur's face. So Arthur looks handsome in a chiseled way, while Hamilton's Lancelot looks boyish. Turnbow seems a better match for Paur.

Maybe that's why at the end, when Guenevere asks for Arthur's forgiveness, it pierces our hearts.

Sensitivity rating: There's nothing suggestive or overtly sexual about this production. However there is a lot of fog, which might have been the reason there was a lot of coughing and sneezing in the audience.