The Last Dragon of Camelot, Emerald City Theatre Company, at Victory Gardens Theater. The hero of The Last Dragon of Camelot is not the solitary creature of the title but a young woman determined to gain membership in the boys’ club known as the Round Table. King Arthur’s niece Lady Margaret– “Peg” to her intimates–fights better than any of the knights but doesn’t win the honors she deserves until a dragon, Greyblood, returns to terrorize the countryside. Also impeding Peg’s progress are the airheaded girlfriends whose company she must endure and the likewise odious courtly attentions of the brawny but brainless Black Knight.
Book and lyrics writer Alyn Cardarelli includes a few too many songs (music by Steve Goers), but they’re generally likable. Under Kay Martinovich’s intelligent direction, the play is uncluttered and efficient, with characters immediately accessible to juvenile audiences. (At the performance I attended, the kids responded so enthusiastically to the interactive portions that some of the actors–in particular Patrick DeVeny and David Vish as dumb-and-dumber Sir Loin and Sir Cum France–occasionally found themselves struggling to retain focus.) Stephanie Myre makes a suitably plucky Peg, and Kevin Robert Kelly’s avuncular Merlin guides us effortlessly through the intricate plot, which culminates in a martial showdown deftly choreographed by Alan Malone. But after the show the lion’s–er, dragon’s share of youthful autograph seekers went to David Hill, who played the engagingly urbane Big Lizard himself.
–Mary Shen Barnidge