A breakthrough case of COVID-19 has temporarily halted Lakewood Theatre Company’s production of Camelot, the classical musical that chronicles the romantic travails of King Arthur, Queen Guinevere and Sir Lancelot. The production was to have opened on Friday, April 29, but now opening night has been rescheduled for Thursday, May 5.
The company revealed the news on its website and in an email, which identified the person suffering from the breakthrough case simply as someone “in the production group.” It was also announced that patrons who purchased tickets for shows prior to May 5 can exchange them.
Lakewood’s version of Camelot offers a unique take on Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe’s 1960 stage musical, which adapted T.H. White’s 1958 novel The Once and Future King (for Marvel fans, that’s the book that Charles Xavier never shuts up about in the X-Men movies).
Rather than the more straightforward storytelling of the play (which became a 1967 film starring Richard Harris and Vanessa Redgrave), Lakewood’s rendition has been reimagined in a play-within-a-play format, in which the tale of Camelot and its heroes is told by a band of 10 traveling revelers.
Directed by Dennis Corwin, the new version necessitated an adapted book by David Lee and new orchestrations by Steve Orich. Lakewood also assembled an impressive cast that includes Anthony Mulherin as Arthur, Jessica Maxey as Guinevere, Brandon Michael as Lancelot, and Heath Hyun Houghton as Mordred, Arthur’s illegitimate son.
This is not the first time in 2022 that a breakthrough COVID-19 case has stopped production of a play in the Portland area. Last January, Artists Repertory Theatre temporarily halted all performances of the basketball-themed drama The Great Leap. In that case, a performance had to be canceled minutes before the curtain was to rise.
That same month, Fuse Theatre Ensemble delayed its production of The Queers, due to concern over the highly contagious Omicron variant. But the play eventually opened in March and enjoyed a successful run.