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1961 Camelot, why no Tony's???

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24601
Swing
joined:11/13/11
1961 Camelot, why no Tony's???
Posted: 11/13/11 at 05:19pm
I was floored to learn that not only was it not nominated for score but it wasn't nominated for Best Musical (despite 3 creative wins and a win for Burton)...any thoughts why?
"Who are you, now?"
Updated On: 11/13/11 at 05:19 PM
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Jordan Catalano
Broadway Legend
joined:10/9/05
1961 Camelot, why no Tony's???
Posted: 11/13/11 at 05:20pm
It just one o' dem thangs, y'know.
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ChenoKahn
Broadway Star
joined:6/12/11
1961 Camelot, why no Tony's???
Posted: 11/13/11 at 05:25pm
Camelot didn't get nominated for Best Score because there wasn't a Best Score that year.
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24601
Swing
joined:11/13/11
1961 Camelot, why no Tony's???
Posted: 11/13/11 at 05:28pm
hmm, yes, I suspected that...but still...no nom for musical?
"Who are you, now?"
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bwayphreak234
Broadway Legend
joined:7/4/10
1961 Camelot, why no Tony's???
Posted: 11/13/11 at 05:28pm
I honestly cannot stand Camelot. This is coming from someone who despises Lerner and Lowe's music though.
"There’s nothing quite like the power and the passion of Broadway music. "
Updated On: 11/13/11 at 05:28 PM
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ClapYo'Hands
Broadway Legend
joined:11/29/09
1961 Camelot, why no Tony's???
Posted: 11/13/11 at 05:50pm
Did they kill your cat?
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winston89
Broadway Legend
joined:6/18/06
1961 Camelot, why no Tony's???
Posted: 11/13/11 at 07:05pm
Maybe Camelot won a Tony or two ( I know zero when it comes to the Tony awards and this show.) But, I am sure that this show never won, nor was up for consideration for any Tony's. Unless this show was trying to win a chain of pizza joints. If that is the case then I could be wrong.
"If you try to shag my husband while I am still alive, I will shove the art of motorcycle maintenance up your rancid little Cu**. That's a good dear" Tom Stoppard's Rock N Roll
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JoeKv99
Broadway Legend
joined:12/27/04
1961 Camelot, why no Tony's???
Posted: 11/13/11 at 07:18pm
At the time, Camelot was a HUGE disappointment from the My Fair Lady team. Moss Hart had also suffered a heart attack and had been unable to cut and shape the show during final previews, so the show that opened was excruciatingly long and not particular beloved. It was only after Hart was able to re-work the show and then take the new version on to the Ed Sullivan Show that it really became a hit.
No good can possibly come from using this vast wasteland of error and deliberate deceit. You should get off of it and warn others away. You should make sure your children and grandchildren know what a corrupt and morally bankrupt institution it truly is.
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frontrowcentre2
Broadway Legend
joined:2/20/05
1961 Camelot, why no Tony's???
Posted: 11/13/11 at 07:25pm
At the time there was a general feeling that CAMELOT did not live up to the standard set by Lerner, Loewe, Hart and company with MY FAIR LADY. The show was overlength and heavy-handed when it opened in December 1960.

Moss Hart, Alan Jay Lerner and the other creatives did some re-writing and plishing the following spring and trimmed 25 minutes from the running time (including the song "Then You May Take Me to the Fair.")

The streamlined CAMELOT got better notices but the changes likely came too late for the Tonys which were given out in April 1961, with a cut off date probably in March.

Cast albums are NOT "soundtracks."
Live theatre does not use a "soundtrack." If it did, it wouldn't be live theatre!

I host a weekly one-hour radio program featuring cast album selections as well as songs by cabaret, jazz and theatre artists. The program, FRONT ROW CENTRE is heard Sundays 9 to 10 am and also Saturdays from 8 to 9 am (eastern times) on www.proudfm.com

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best12bars
Broadway Legend
joined:6/29/05
1961 Camelot, why no Tony's???
Posted: 11/13/11 at 07:26pm
I was going to say exactly that, Joe! The Ed Sullivan Show saved "Camelot." It had mediocre reviews and even worse ticket sales. It was in serious peril of closing when they did the (really long!) selection of scenes and songs on Ed Sullivan. The next day, the box office jumped way up and the show became a hit.

Add to it that Jack Kennedy loved it and his presidency quickly became associated with the show and title song, and that's when it entered into "classic" mode.

But it had a really rocky start.
"Jaws is the Citizen Kane of movies."
blocked: logan2, Diamonds3
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EricMontreal22
Broadway Legend
joined:10/31/11
1961 Camelot, why no Tony's???
Posted: 11/13/11 at 07:28pm
Exactly--I think it's kinda been forgotten what a huge disappointmewnt it was seen at first. Of course in hindsight too now it has the JFK connection.
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JoeKv99
Broadway Legend
joined:12/27/04
1961 Camelot, why no Tony's???
Posted: 11/13/11 at 07:49pm
I might be wrong but Ed Sullivan might have turned the whole whole show into Camelot- it was at least 45 minutes or so of content.
No good can possibly come from using this vast wasteland of error and deliberate deceit. You should get off of it and warn others away. You should make sure your children and grandchildren know what a corrupt and morally bankrupt institution it truly is.
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EricMontreal22
Broadway Legend
joined:10/31/11
1961 Camelot, why no Tony's???
Posted: 11/13/11 at 08:26pm
Man I wish the Ed Sullivan show would do proper DVD releases of their Broadway stuff (I do know of the one volume of edits) I have about 11 VHS volumes a kind person made for me of most of them ages back, but it reall is a treasure trove that should be mined.
Gaveston2
Broadway Legend
joined:6/28/11
1961 Camelot, why no Tony's???
Posted: 11/13/11 at 08:43pm
best12bars, did the Kennedy/Camelot connection become popular early enough to help sales during the run of the show? This month's VANITY FAIR talks about in-depth interviews Jackie Kennedy gave to a journalist (Arthur Schlesinger, I think) a month or so AFTER the assassination in 1963. (CAMELOT closed 10 months BEFORE the assassination.)

In them, she mentions that the title song of CAMELOT was Jack's favorite song. She actually quotes the end of the show reprise ("that for one brief, shining moment...") and the implication by VF is that this was calculated myth-making on her part.

Was she creating the Camelot association at that point or was she merely hopping on a bandwagon that already existed?
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goldenboy
Broadway Legend
joined:7/15/05
1961 Camelot, why no Tony's???
Posted: 11/14/11 at 01:38am
I have sat through a Richard Harris revival of Camelot.
I have sat through a Michael York revival of Camelot.
I have even managed to almost sit through the movie.

The show, in spite of having some great songs, is a long colossal bore in any incarnation.
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best12bars
Broadway Legend
joined:6/29/05
1961 Camelot, why no Tony's???
Posted: 11/14/11 at 06:31am
Gaveston2---the show had already become a hit when the Kennedy presidency became associated with it. But that association put "Camelot" into the Broadway "classic" category, and the cast recording sold well for many years after the show closed in NY. (Touring companies, regional companies also followed.)

It was the Sullivan broadcast that turned the show from a flop into a hit. Virtually overnight.
"Jaws is the Citizen Kane of movies."
blocked: logan2, Diamonds3
Updated On: 11/14/11 at 06:31 AM
WOSQ
Broadway Legend
joined:7/18/03
1961 Camelot, why no Tony's???
Posted: 11/14/11 at 09:59am
Camelot had a lot going for it: a lovely score, a great cast, a good production.

But then there is that book. Whether the original which is the published version or the revised one, the script has three splendid scenes and a whole lot of plodding ones.

[The three great scenes: The first scene introducing Arthur and Guenevere to us and each other is a mini-marvel. The last scene of the first act cumulating with Arthur's monologue is quite good and there is no song. The last scene of Act Two is practically a one act play unto itself and is deeply moving.]

I think it is because of that failure-proof last scene that Camelot is such a crowd pleaser and sends the audience out into the night with moist eyes. The rest of the script is professionally done, but also lacking that certain something--perhaps tension.
"If my life weren't funny, it would just be true. And that would be unacceptable." --Carrie Fisher
Jon
Broadway Legend
joined:2/20/04
1961 Camelot, why no Tony's???
Posted: 11/14/11 at 11:58am
Tony's what???
daredevil
Stand-by
joined:8/17/05
1961 Camelot, why no Tony's???
Posted: 11/14/11 at 01:20pm
I just googled Tony Awards 1961; according to what I read, Burton did win the award for Best Musical Actor (then referred to as distinguished lead musical actor) for his portrayal as Arthur.
Best Musical Tony for that year went to Bye Bye Birdie, which opened in late spring of 1960. At that point, the TONYs were presented in mid-April, thus any musical opening later than probably mid-March was not eligible. But Birdie was a big success, and NY loved Elizabeth Seale in Irma La Douce, so she won Best Musical Actress. I think the lack of awards says more about the competition Camelot faced, then the quality of the work, even though in terms of what was expected, Camelot was a bit of a disspointment.
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noradesmond
Stand-by
joined:10/29/08
1961 Camelot, why no Tony's???
Posted: 11/14/11 at 01:54pm
The Sullivan show certainly gave a huge boost to the show but the OBC album was a huge hit as well. It was released within days of the Broadway opening and stayed at the top of the charts for well over a year.
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PalJoey
Broadway Legend
joined:3/11/04
1961 Camelot, why no Tony's???
Posted: 11/14/11 at 02:32pm
From Julie Andrews's autobiography, "Home: A Memoir of My Early Years":

===

"It so happened that My Fair Lady was celebrating its fifth anniversary, and Ed Sullivan decided to devote a full hour of his famed television show to Lerner and Loewe. Richard (Burton) and I appeared in it, and after several songs from their other shows were performed, a seventeen-minute excerpt from Camelot closed the televised evening. This coincided with the new changes that had just gone into the show, and there was palpable electricity that night. The following morning there was a line of people outside the theater and around the block queuing for tickets. Sales skyrocketed and Camelot was, at last, a big hit."
yr pal,
joey




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Mister Matt
Broadway Legend
joined:5/17/03
1961 Camelot, why no Tony's???
Posted: 11/14/11 at 02:55pm
Peronally, I've always thought Camelot was the weakest of their shows. More often than not, the songs bring everything to a screeching halt. The book scenes are so dull, they make you long for a lovely tune, but while the melodies are nice, the lyrics add little to anything, so you end up just waiting verse after verse of repetitious thought for yet another dull book scene. Given the subject, the cast, and the creative team, I could certainly understand the high level of interest AND disappointment when this show premiered. But without a massive overhaul that would probably never be allowed, I can't ever see this show having a successful revival without the presence of Hugh Jackman to guarantee ticket sales.
"What can you expect from a bunch of seitan worshippers?" - Reginald Tresilian
Gaveston2
Broadway Legend
joined:6/28/11
1961 Camelot, why no Tony's???
Posted: 11/14/11 at 06:40pm
Thank you, best12bars. I know about the Ed Sullivan appearance. It was legendary in my family: not a lot of money to go to the theater, but they followed anything that appeared on TV. Julie Andrews was a huge star to us before MARY POPPINS because of her Sullivan appearances as Eliza and Guinevere. I'm saying "us" but I was a kid and not old enough to have a voice in what we watched. I don't know if I saw CAMELOT when scenes were originally broadcast, but I saw some of them on an Ed Sullivan retrospective years later.

What I can't seem to figure out is when the media started talking about the Kennedy administration as Camelot. Was it before Jack's assassination or afterwards? Was it during the run of the show or only afterwards? (If you know.)
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best12bars
Broadway Legend
joined:6/29/05
1961 Camelot, why no Tony's???
Posted: 11/14/11 at 07:08pm
I believe Jackie mentioned that John loved the album and the song in an interview. I don't recall knowing if they had actually seen the show in NY. But it was known to be one of his "favorites."

Not sure if the media started calling his White House years "Camelot" before or after the assassination. But certainly afterward, the song especially took on a deeper meaning and connection. Especially the final lyric.

As for the Ed Sullivan segment, I believe I've seen the entire thing on DVD. Complete with a staged "rehearsal" of when they first came in to sing through the songs (Andrews, Burton, and Goulet). It's done with voice-overs as they each express their anxieties about the others. Kinda silly, but hey it worked! And it was very entertaining. I know part of it ("What Do the Simple Folk Do?") is included in the Sullivan compilation saluting Broadway. I assume you knew that already, Gav.

I can't remember now where I've seen the entire thing! It's not an extra on Broadway: The American Musical DVD set (PBS documentary). I just looked.

EDIT: A little more info from Wiki (to be taken with a grain of salt). It says the album was a top-seller for 60 weeks.

It was also publicized, just after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy (a classmate of Lerner at Harvard), that the show's original cast recording had been favorite bedtime listening in the White House, and that Kennedy's favorite lines were in the final number (in which Arthur knights a young boy and tells him to pass on the story of Camelot to future generations):
Don't let it be forgot
That once there was a spot,
For one brief, shining moment
That was known as Camelot.

Since then, Camelot has been associated with the Kennedy Administration.

LINK
"Jaws is the Citizen Kane of movies."
blocked: logan2, Diamonds3
Updated On: 11/14/11 at 07:08 PM
Gaveston2
Broadway Legend
joined:6/28/11
1961 Camelot, why no Tony's???
Posted: 11/14/11 at 07:26pm
^^^^ Thanks, best12bars!

I believe the interview you mention is the one with Arthur Schlesinger that Jackie gave about a month after Jack's death. The point of the VF article is that Jackie's image as a doting wife removed from policy decisions was a calculated one, and that her careful nurturing of the Kennedy legacy began almost instantly after the assassination. (It's not a smear job; if anything, it suggests she was smarter and far more involved than she let on.)

The implication is that the story about CAMELOT being Jack's favorite record may well have been invented by his widow as part of the myth-making.

As I'm sure you know, Kennedy was both a charismatic and controversial figure during his presidency. At least half of the people in the country would have sneered at any attempt to associate him with King Arthur. But many of those same people began to see him differently almost immediately after his murder.
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henrikegerman
Broadway Legend
joined:4/29/05
1961 Camelot, why no Tony's???
Posted: 11/14/11 at 08:45pm
Camelot may not be a great musical but that it didn't even get a nomination when the three and only three nominated musicals that year were Bye Bye Birdie (the winner and clearly the year's best show), Do Re Mi and Irma la Douce is very surprising.

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