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Click on a dark square to buy online or call the Box Office at 541-535-5250. Pay-what-you-can tickets cannot be purchased online.

SPOTLIGHT ON PETER, PAUL & MARY

May 25 - June 11, 2017

Spotlight On Peter, Paul & Mary

Starring Erik Connolly, Brianna Gowland & Billy King
Directed by Presila Quinby

A tribute to the most popular folk group of the 1960s that both defined and transcended folk music. The trio's passionate commitment to peace and social justice made them the conscience of an era as they soulfully communicated political concerns through music in an unprecedented way. They reached millions with their social message, while their appeal crossed audience lines that other acts couldn't even approach. Erik Connolly, Billy King and Brianna Gowland will sing favorites such as "Puff the Magic Dragon", "If I Had A Hammer", "Where have all the Flowers Gone", "500 miles", "Lemon Tree", "Leaving on a Jet Plane" and more.

Tickets: $22 - $33

 


Camelot Theatre celebrates folk trio Peter, Paul and Mary with a theatrical biography of music that's as relevant today as it was in the early '60s.

Peter Yarrow, Paul Stookey and Mary Travers emerged from Greenwich Village's folk boom on the tails of such performers as Pete Seeger and his quartet The Weavers, Woody Guthrie and Bob Dylan.

Drawing inspiration from those songwriters who had gone before, the trio released a self-titled, debut album of hit songs in 1962 on Warner Bros. Records. It included traditional songs "Early in the Morning" and "This Train," along with Hedy West's "500 Miles," Will Holt's "Lemon Tree," and Seeger's "If I Had a Hammer" and "Where Have all the Flowers Gone?"

It was Peter, Paul and Mary's biggest selling studio album. It sat at No. 1 on Billboard's Top 10 for seven weeks, then stayed on the chart for another 10 months. It remained a top-seller for decades, selling millions of copies and earning double platinum certification from the Recording Industry Association of America.

The success moved the trio to the forefront of social commentary folk music, and it went on to record nearly 20 albums with Warner Bros.

"The music is timeless," says Presila Quinby, who directs this showcase. "They kept their tunes simple so anyone could pick up a guitar and spread their music and their message."

"Spotlight on Peter, Paul and Mary" will preview at 8 p.m. Thursday, May 25, or Red Nose Day in America, at Camelot Theatre, 101 Talent Ave., Talent. Preview tickets are $22.

British charity Comic Relief was founded in 1985 in response to famine in Ethiopa. It became a global movement set on using comedy to raise money to help kids in need. Since 2015, Red Nose Day in America has raised millions in the global effort to help kids.

Official red noses will be given to each ticket holder at Camelot's May 25 performance. A dollar for every red nose will be donated to Comic Relief. Camelot also will make a matching donation to the Boys and Girls Club of the Rogue Valley.

The show opens Friday, May 26, and runs through June 11. Curtain is at 8 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays. Tickets prices range between $26 to $32 and can be purchased at camelotheatre.org or by calling 541-535-5250.

The show will feature singers Erik Connolly, Brianna Gowland and Billy King. Bob Haworth of The Brothers Four and The Kingston Trio fame will narrate the show and play guitar, banjo and harmonica. Additional accompaniment will be played by guitarist Matt Stuart and acoustic bassist Peter Koerella.

Along with Peter, Paul and Mary's songs, look for Guthrie's "This Land is Your Land," Dylan's "Blowin' in the Wind" and "The Times They Are A-Changin'", Stokie's "I Dig Rock 'n' Roll" and Yarrow's Puff the Magic Dragon," along with songs written by Gordon Lightfoot, John Denver and Tom Paxton.

Haworth - who joined The Kingston Trio after guitarist Nick Reynolds retired in 1999 - appeared on television and at folk festivals and revivals with Peter, Paul and Mary.

"We knew each other as colleagues and friends," Haworth says. "We did TV shows, folk tours and revivals together during the '80s. It's fun to learn more about their lives now."

Haworth spent more than 40 years working as a folk and pop musician after graduating Medford High School in 1965. He will return to Camelot Theatre in 2018 to perform in "Spotlight on The Kingston Trio."

Andi Slavin is writer of "Spotlight on Peter, Paul and Mary." She also penned Camelot's spotlights on Elton John and Barry Manilow. Dal Carver is music director. Sound and video is by Brian O'Connor and lighting by Jenell Ragsdale.

CAST BIOS

Erik Connolly ~ Vocals
Erik most recently appeared at Camelot as Emile deBeque in select performances of South Pacific. Other roles here include Lawrence in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Che in Evita, Jesus in Jesus Christ Superstar, and Caleb in The Spitfire Grill. He has also appeared in a number of Camelot Spotlight productions, including Roy Orbison, Simon and Garfunkel, Jerry, Perry, and Dean, Irving Berlin, and Steve & Eydie. His favorite roles at other theaters include Valjean in Les Miserables, Frederic in Pirates of Penzance, Georg in She Loves Me, Lead Performer in Jacques Brel is Alive and Well, and the title role in Candide.

Brianna Gowland ~ Vocals
How pleased Brianna is to be taking part in her second Spotlight at Camelot Theatre! She previously sang back up for Spotlight on Elton John. Some of her most recent roles include Marian Paroo in The Music Man (One-Eleven Theatre), Judy Haynes in White Christmas (Randall Theatre) and Rachel Brown in Inherit the Wind (Camelot Theatre). Brianna has also choreographed shows such as Scrooge the Musical and directed shows such as I Ought to Be in Pictures. Next, Brianna is Assistant Directing, Assistant Choreographing, and appearing in SPAMalot.

Bob Haworth ~ Narrator/Banjo/Guitar/Harmonica
After graduating from Medford High School in 1965, Bob Haworth spent the next 40 years traveling the world as member of The Brothers Four and, later, The Kingston Trio. Watch for him in Camelot Theatre's production of Spotlight On The Kingston Trio coming in 2018.

Billy King ~ Vocals
After a busy high school stage career, Billy spent his last three years writing, directing, and acting in multiple film productions at University of Oregon, and has been a DJ on the campus radio. His stop motion film, Pumpkinnapped!, was recently recognized at the Ashland Independent Film Festival. This is Billy's third production at Camelot.

Spotlight On Peter, Paul & Mary

Spotlight On Peter, Paul & Mary

THEATRE REVIEWS

Camelot again shines.

by Jeffrey Gillespie for The Ashland Daily Tidings

Camelot Theatre has had a great deal of success with their "Spotlight On!" series, and with good reason; the shows are fresh, well-directed, filled with great music and interesting facts, and as such tend to pack out the house reliably.

The performance Saturday last of "Spotlight On Peter, Paul and Mary" was no exception, a fact to which this review will shortly attest. However, I have a bone to pick first.

On the evening in question, the crowd was enthusiastic, which was great. However, there was one particular patron, a drunken middle-aged woman in the front row, who insisted on ruining the performance by shouting out her opinion to the performers, singing along so loudly with the artists that she seemed to think she was actually in the show, and boozily harassing the patrons in the row behind her.

The low point of her "performance" came during a rather sweet and sensitive rendition of "Puff the Magic Dragon," during which she seemed to feel that the best response to the music was to flail her arms about in an attempt to get the senior couple directly behind her to sing as badly and obnoxiously as she was.

Folks like this will generally ruin the show for the majority of a paying audience. In this case, that's a group of more than 150 people, since the house was at near capacity. This kind of boorish individual should be removed by house managers as soon as the nuisance begins.

With that said, the show was a great success, with many classic favorites by the luminary American folk trio performed with great aplomb by Erik Connolly, Billy King, and Brianna Gowland.

Connolly, of course, is a long-time favorite at Camelot, with many show credits under his belt, most notably as JC himself in "Jesus Christ Superstar" and more recently as Valjean in "Les Miserables." His voice never fails to disappoint, and he shone in this production.

King, too, although only on his third go-around at the theater, was a solid choice, with good vocals that occasionally ran a little flat but were generally strong. Great performances both, but the show really belonged to Gowland, who was rightly the center of attention in her red ensemble, smack bang in the middle of downstage center.

Gowland is one of those lucky actors who is both pretty and comically gifted, so she was able to play both sides of the Peter, Paul and Mary songbook very well. Rubber-faced where appropriate, soulful and transfixing where necessary, Gowland is a lanky drink of water who knows how to quench the throats of a performance-thirsty audience.

Bob Haworth - a Peter Coyote look-alike with a gift for banjo strumming - had the unenviable task of narrating the evening as well as playing three separate instruments, which he did with little problem.

Director Presila Quinby took care to cover all the songs that Peter, Paul and Mary fans would want to hear, from the haunting "500 Miles" (which was written by Hedy West, but covered by the three) to such raucous classics as "I'm in Love with a Big Blue Frog", wherein Connolly and Gowland both busted out kazoos and went to town, much to the delight of their patrons. The show delivered a pitch-perfect combination of songs that were a good reflection of the innocence, and lost innocence, of the time in which the famous threesome lived.

Supporting musicians Peter Koerella and Matte Stuart were also strong. Koerella was a notably sensitive presence on the double bass - his discreet but polished performance did not go unnoticed.

Overall, this is a great evening of music that showcases an important era in protest music and will be sure to leave you humming. If, like Pete Seeger, you're wondering where all the flowers might have gone, you can find three of them blooming on the stage at Camelot Theatre until June 11.

"Spotlight On Peter, Paul and Mary" is directed by Presila Quinby, script by Andi Slavin. Camelot Theatre is at 101 Talent Ave, Talent; 541-535-5250, www.camelottheatre.com.