Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Pssst! A SNEAK PEAK at "Camelot", with no spoilers! Take the quiz.....

LOGON has hit the road!  We opened in Beer Sheva last week, and this past Sunday we played in the Jerusalem theater.  Thank you, Jerusalem, for a lovely reception; you were a splendid audience!

I have persuaded the Producers to let you have a sneak peek at the show (thank you to Avital for the lovely photos!) - but since we all hate spoilers, I'm not going to tell you what is happening in each shot.  Will match the picture to lines from previous LOGON shows. How many can you identify?  Boast in the comment section below!  So here we go - let's start with an easy one. Here is Dr. Albert Jacobs, our Orchestra Steward:

 ".... trying to scratch out a simple living, without breaking our necks"

Our court Jester and one of the Pages:

"O-oh the Wells Fargo Wagon is a-coming down the street; I wish I wish I knew what it could be!"
How about one of the King and Queen, in their casual clothes?

"I think I want a Western. Do you want a Western?"

The relationship between a Knight and his Squire is a complex thing:

 "I could have danced, danced, danced all night!"

LOGON founder Ed Spitz is the magical mystical Merlin:

"Good night ladies, good night ladies, good night ladies, we're going to leave you now"

 Two other long-time LOGON stalwarts, Sir Leon and Sir Arnie: 

"Break a leg.... or we'll do it for you."

There's usually one great number for the male chorus, and this show is no exception. That's the evil Mordred front and center:

 "To life, to life, l'chaim!"
And big numbers for the whole chorus, too:
"This was a real nice clambake, and we all had a real good time"
 One of our producers, Alan Cohen, aka Sir Lionel:


"Oh what a beautiful morning, oh what a beautiful day...."
And finally, let's have a close-up of King Arthur and Sir Pellinore:

"Anything you can do, I can do better"

It's an amazing show, a comedy and a tragedy at the same time, with manly men and a beautiful queen,  famous songs ("If Ever I Would Leave You", "I Loved You Once In Silence"), swordfights and a miracle and a human of the female persuasion who thinks she's a dog (a pointer). 

 COME SEE US for One Enchanted Evening! Details of performances and ticket sales:


Saturday, March 5, 2016

Camelot on the Couch: King Arthur, through the Ages

We first meet King Arthur when he drops out of a tree.  Very Kingly indeed.  But then, this Arthur is a man-child of a King.  He wheedles and then threatens his mentor (Merlyn) like an angry child; indeed, he even has a small tantrum when thwarted. He demands that Merlin obey his whims: "I insist that you remember who I am!" - but Merlin reminds him that he is no longer a child, and that he is expected to behave accordingly: "It is YOU who keeps forgetting who you are!".  Arthur has found his calling, he is King (if you've never seen Disney's "Sword in the Stone", so see it NOW!!!)

 - but he has not yet reached maturity.  Certainly not a cowardly type, he is completely unnerved at the prospect of meeting his bride:  "A warrior who so calm in battle even his armor doesn't rattle, faces a woman petrified with fright? RIGHT!"

 Pictured:  Fearless Warrior, with non-rattling armor

In the opening scenes of the first act, however, Arthur will reach a new stage of personal development: he will meet Guenevere,  fall in love on the spot, and finally own up to his identity as King. For her, he will want "to be Caesar and Solomon".  In one (admittedly, fairly long) scene, Arthur has successfully navigated Stage 5 (Identity vs Role Confusion) and Stage 6 (Intimacy vs Isolation) of the "Eight Ages of Man"*.

 * Chapter 7 of this breathtaking classic: 

The bulk of the play will follow Arthur's attempts, over a period of years, to reform his world; to make the country, and himself, civilized.  A new code of chivalry, "might for right",  a system of civil courts to replace trial by combat - and of course, the Round Table, where Knights will sit and discuss things and make laws. His dream is a a world where "no one will bear arms at all anymore... and that there will really be peace... all borders will disappear...."  In Erikson's terms, this is where he evolves through Stage 7, "Generativity vs Stagnation".  He tries to "establish and guide the next generation", not by fathering a child, but by fathering a civilized nation.

As the play continues, it becomes clear that Arthur is imperfect.  He allows his illegitimate son Mordred to poison the atmosphere, he stands by in helpless confusion as his wife and his best friend find themselves in love.  At moments of crisis he begs to be turned back into a hawk, that he might fly away..... and yet, in the final act, King Arthur blooms into full maturity.  He almost gives in to despair - "It's too late, Lance. The Table is dead. It exists no more....It's the old, uncivilized days come back again. Those dreadful days we all tried to o put to sleep forever."  

At the last moment, however, King Arthur transcends despair and successfully resolves the final conflict, Stage 8, Ego Integrity vs Despair.  He meets a child, Tom of Warwick, who has been inspired by the tales of the Knights of the Round Table - and realizes that all is not lost, that in the future, "...perhaps people will remember how we of Camelot went questing for right and honor and justice. Perhaps one day men will sit around this world as we did once at our table and go questing once more... for right...and honor... and justice."

Pellinore reminds him that there is a battle to be fought, but Arthur has moved beyond spear and lance:

"Battle? I've won my battle, Pelly. Here's my victory! What we did will be remembered."

So say we all, amen.

PS  It isn't mentioned in the play, but "young Sir Tom of Warwick" is intended to represent Sir Thomas Malory (c. 1415-18 - 14 March, 1471),  an English writer, the author or compiler of Le Morte d'Arthur.  From  Wikipedia: " Le Morte d'Arthur was first published in 1485 by William Caxton, and is today perhaps the best-known work of Arthurian literature in English. Many modern Arthurian writers have used Malory as their principal source, including T. H. White in his popular The Once and Future King " - which is, of course, the source for our play.