Thursday, June 21, 2012

The cast of "Camelot"

Sitting left to right: Preslea Laird, Ally Klein, Logan Landry, Amelia Bellard, Grace Toepfer
Kneeling left to right: Gabrielle Bergeron, John Burleigh, Jeanne Eddins, Travis Fontenot, Phillip Thompson, Heidi Pitre, Kristi Burleigh
Standing left to right: Natalie Lacombe, Jimmy Broussard, Katelyn LeBleu, Hedrick Deshotel, Duncan McBride, Angie B. McBride, Darrel LeJeune, Ryan Tate, Sharon Blakenship, Charles Seale holding Griff the dog, Jeanne Aucoin, and Debi L. Crawford
(Not all cast members are pictured)

     Singing and dancing fill the air as the cast for the summer musical, “Camelot”, is busy rehearsing at the Eunice Players’ Theatre. The legendary story of Camelot revolves around the relationship of King Arthur, Queen Guenevere and Lancelot and the Knights of the Round Table during the age of chivalry. This two-act musical, with music and lyrics by Lerner and Loewe, is under the direction of Debi L. Crawford of Eunice, a veteran director of summer musicals at the local theatre.
     Darrel LeJeune of Basile will play the lead role of the legendary, but flawed figure, King Arthur. He was last seen as The Mad Hatter in "Alice Meets Dorothy" but is probably most remembered for his portrayal of Tyve in the Eunice Players’ Theatre’s 2007 production of “Fiddler On The Roof."
     Playing his beloved Queen Guenevere is Angie B. McBride of Lawtell. She directed the past two summer musicals, and most audiences will recognize her as the lead in “Always…Patsy Cline”.
     The comedic role of King Pellinore will be played by Charles Seale of Eunice. He was most recently seen as the hilarious neighbor in the Eunice Players’ Theatre’s production of “Barefoot In The Park”.
     Duncan McBride of Lawtell will play the role of Lancelot du Lac. He has directed several shows at Opelousas Little Theatre where he is most noted for playing the lead in the musical “Jekyl and Hyde”.
     The role of the evil Mordred will be portrayed by Bradley Credeur of Lafayette. His acting resume include roles mainly at Opelousas Little Theatre but Bradley played the character role of the Scarecrow in the Eunice Players’ Theatre’s 2010 production of “Dorothy Meets Alice”.
     The Knights of the Round Table include Travis Fontenot of Ville Platte as Sir Dinadan; Wesley Saunders of Pine Prairie as Sir Sagremore; Hedrick Deshotel of Basile as Colgrevance; Phillip Thompson of Basile as Bliant; John Burleigh, of Ville Platte as Castor; Alex Bihm of Basile as Garreth; and Wayne Hebert of Lafayette as Gilliam. Playing the character role of Squire Dap is Gabe Ortego of Eunice and the role of the pageboy is portrayed by Ryan Tate of Pine Prairie. The role of the young boy, Tom of Warwick, will be played by Traelyn Brasseaux of Iota.
     The Ladies in Waiting include Sharon Blakenship of Bayou Chicot as Lady Anne; Amy Maricle of Bayou Chicot as Lady Sybil, and Jeanne Eddins, of Iota as Lady Catherine. Other Ladies in Waiting include Kristi Burleigh of Ville Platte, Heidi Pitre of Eunice; Gabrielle Bergeron of Basile, Katelyn LeBleu of Basile; Jeanne Aucoin, of Eunice, and Natalie LaCombe of Opelousas.
     The Young Maidens are Grace Toepfer, Logan Landry, Ally Klein, and Amelia Bellard all from Eunice and Caroline Martel and Preslea Laird of Basile.
     The character role of the Great Wizard, Merlin, will be magically performed by Donald Chapman of Eunice. The role of the beautiful siren, Imue, will be portrayed by Holly Bell of New Orleans and the role of the enchantress of the forest, Morgan LeFey, will be portrayed by Suzanne LaHaye of Eunice.
     “Camelot” is under the musical direction of Angie McBride with Jimmy Broussard of Crowley as accompanist. This musical is schedule to run July 25 – 28, 31 and August 1, 2, and 4 with curtain at 7 pm. There will be a Sunday matinee on July 29 at 2 pm. Tickets for this magical show will go on sale on Monday, July 9 for $10.00 per seat. Please note that the musical is not part of the season ticket program. For ticket information, please call Turning Point at 337-457-2156 or David’s Hair Salon at 337-546-0163.

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Saturday, June 9, 2012

Five Directors Provide Experience for “Camelot”

Front: Jimmy Broussard
Back (l-r): Angie Benoit McBride, Duncan McBride, Darrel LeJeune, Debi Crawford

What happens when you put five musical directors in a room together? The audience will reap the rewards of a performance worthy of the legendary musical “Camelot”. Director Debi L. Crawford ...
decided that she needed a team of singer/directors who could pull off the feat of bringing this show to the stage at the Eunice Players’ Theatre this summer.

All the directors are distinctly connected in the world of musical theatre. There was only one person that Crawford wanted as King Arthur in “Camelot” so she called her good friend, Darrel LeJeune, of Basile. Their friendship goes back three decades, working together on several musicals including “Damn Yankees” and “Pajama Game” back in the 1980s. He then appeared in “Grease” and then the duo co-directed the musical “Godspell” in 1994. “Fiddler On The Roof” in 2007 was the last show where LeJeune played the lead and Crawford directed. Last year, LeJeune directed the musical “Godspell” at Basile High, where he is the music and art teacher.

Then Crawford called another familiar face of the theatre, Angie Benoit McBride, to play the lead role of Guenevere and serve as music director. Crawford first cast McBride in the musical, "Nunsense", as the novice nun in 1991, which was later revived in 1998. Over the years, they have collaborated on numerous musicals which McBride would direct and Crawford would work on costumes or choreography. Crawford asked McBride to appear in a cameo role in “Fiddler On The Roof” as the dead butcher’s wife and as fate would have it, Angie met her future husband, Duncan, during the show.

During “Fiddler” auditions, an actor from Opelousas, Duncan McBride came to EPT and nailed the role of Perchik. Duncan McBride came with a vast amount of experience and freshness. Since “Fiddler” he has directed several shows at Opelousas Little Theatre and played lead in numerous musicals there, most notably "Jekyll and Hyde." He presently serves as president of their theatre. Duncan will portray the role of Lancelot and will coordinate the fight scenes.

The missing element to this well-rounded team was a pianist. Once again, after numerous phone calls, Crawford was able to persuade Jimmy Broussard of Crowley to be the show's accompanist. Broussard is well connected to the Eunice Players’ Theatre both as a pianist and lead singer. He played Danny Zuko in “Grease” and Jesus in “Godspell” which Crawford directed. He has also directed several shows, most recently “Grease” for The Acadia Players’ theatre, and he serves as president of that theatre.

"Camelot” will open at the Eunice Players’ Theatre on July 25th and run through August 4th. Tickets for this musical will go on sale Monday, July 9th. For ticket information, please call 337-457-2156 or 337-546-0163.