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.

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