The new Broadway revival of Camelot tackles the 1960 musical’s shortcomings head on. Aaron Sorkin rebuilds Alan Jay Lerner’s fixer-upper of a book into a more modern yarn that seems to focus on Camelot’s West Wing: His new Arthur (played with boyish charm by Andrew Burnap) could be mistaken for a younger version of Martin Sheen’s Jeb Bartlett, an earnest man thrust into power but struggling to do good despite the dominant forces pushing against his best impulses. Sorkin hasn’t so much streamlined the script – the show still runs three hours – as he has bulldozed it, stripping out all the magic but cramming even more talky dialogue. But when the cast sings, nearly 30 strong and backed by an equally sized orchestra, you get a hint of the show’s enduring appeal.
You can read my full review in the June/July issue of Musicals magazine, out May 26.