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Plays, musicals and more fill 2016 at Camelot Theatre

Four musicals, three plays, four musical spotlights and a Camelot Conservatory musical fill 2016 at Camelot Theatre in the James Morrison Collier Theatre Building. Tickets and information are available at www.camelottheatre.org or by calling 541-535-5250.

“Feelin’ Groovy: Spotlight on Simon & Garfunkel” kicks off this weekend with shows opening Thursday, Jan. 14, and running through Sunday, Jan. 24. Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel brought their own sound to the '60s in America. This is the story of their relationship and their music that continues to engage audiences. With a script by Catherine Noah and a cast featuring Erik Connolly and David King-Gabriel, there will be a little biography and a lot of music.

Camelot Theatre will premiere playwright Lisa Beth Allen's "Solomon's Blade," winner the 2004 Ashland New Plays Festival, from Feb. 3-28. When a Jewish woman discovers her sister-in-law is pregnant — and brain-dead on life support in a hospital — arrangements are made to adopt the child to an Israeli immigrant. But when the mother-to-be turns out to be Arab-Israeli, she wrestles with the nature of faith and identity. Meanwhile, her 8-year-old daughter has become attached to her new aunt, and to stop the quarreling she hatches a potentially deadly plan.

The Tony Award-winning musical "Sweet Charity," with book by Neil Simon, music by Cy Coleman and lyrics by Dorothy Fields, will be staged March 16 through April 17. Gullible and guileless dance hostess Charity Hope Valentine sings, dances, laughs and cries her way through consistently funny looks at romantic adventures — or misadventures — in her all-too-real world of giving her heart and her dreams to the wrong men.

Jerome Lawrence's and Robert E. Lee's “Inherit the Wind” plays April 27 through May 29. A fictionalized account of the 1925 Scopes "Monkey" Trial, the controversial subject of evolution versus creation explodes in a battle of beliefs. Set in a small Tennessee town, teacher Bertram Cates is brought to trial for teaching Darwinism. Authors Lawrence and Lee used the play as a vehicle to discuss the then-contemporary McCarthy trials.

“Maybe This Time: Spotlight on Liza Minelli” runs June 2-12. From her first film appearance at the age of 14 months in her mother’s film “In the Good Old Summertime” to her Academy Award-winning performance as Sally Bowles in the movie version of “Cabaret,” the daughter of Judy Garland and Vincente Minelli has wowed audiences with her many talents and touched hearts with her vulnerability. With a script by Catherine Noah and starring Rose Passione, this musical spotlight features 23 of Minelli's hit songs.

“La Cage Aux Folles, with music and lyrics by Jerry Herman and book by Harvey Fierstein, plays June 22 through July 31. Two gay men partnered for better-or-worse get a bit of both when George's song announces his engagement to the daughter of a bigoted, narcissistic politician. George's and Albin's business — a drag club in Saint-Tropez, further complicates the situation. When George agrees to masquerade as a heterosexual, Albin has other plans — with hysterical results.

Camelot Conservatory presents "Legally Blonde the Musical," with book by Heather Hach, music and lyrics by Laurence O’Keefe and Nell Benjamin and based on the novel by Amanda Brown and the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer motion picture. This fabulously fun, international award-winning musical follows the transformation of Elle Woods as she tackles stereotypes, snobbery and scandal in pursuit of her dreams. With only six performances, the show runs Aug. 4-7.

“Changed for Good: Spotlight on Musical Theatre” plays Aug. 11-21. Musical theater has entertained audiences since 1849. This spotlight looks at specific songs that have moved and inspired us. With a script by Paula Flowers and starring Flowers and David King-Gabriel, this spotlight includes songs from “The Lion King,” “Aladdin,” “Into the Woods” and “Wicked.”

“Chess,” a Tony-winning rock opera with book by Richard Nelson, lyrics by Tim Rice and music by Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus, uses the ancient game of chess as a metaphor for romantic rivalries, competitive gamesmanship, power politics and international intrigues. From Bangkok to Budapest the players, lovers, politicians and spies manipulate and are manipulated to the pulse of a rock score. Shows are set for Aug. 31 through Oct. 2.

Another Tony winner, Neil Simon's "I Ought to Be in Pictures," plays Oct. 12 through Nov. 8. Herb, a Hollywood scriptwriter, is surprised when his forgotten past reappears in the form of Libby, his teenage daughter, who's trekked from Brooklyn to Los Angeles with dreams of movie stardom. Though she barely remembers her father, Libby is convinced that Herb holds the keys to Hollywood. With Steffy, his sometime girlfriend at his side, Herb decides to take another stab at fatherhood and hopefully get it right this time.

“Through the Years: Spotlight on Kenny Rogers” plays Nov. 10-20. Recently honored with the Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award and a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, Kenny Rogers has sung and written music since the '50s. Name the genre — country, soft-rock, pop, contemporary or jazz  — Rogers has done it. Duane George stars in a script by Brian Michael O’Connor featuring 23 of Rogers' hits.

“South Pacific” plays Nov. 30 through Jan. 8. With music by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II and book by Oscar Hammerstein II and Joshua Logan, “South Pacific” is adapted from the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel “Tales of the South Pacific” by James A. Michener. The play, set in an island paradise during World War II, follows Nellie Forbush, a spunky nurse from Arkansas who falls in love with a mature French planter, Emile de Becque. When she learns that the mother of his children was an island native, she is unable to turn her back on prejudices she learned as a child and refuses Emile's proposal of marriage. Look for such classics as “I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outa My Hair,” “There Ain’t Nothing Like a Dame” and “Some Enchanted Evening.”

David King-Gabriel, left, and Erik Connolly star in 'Spotlight on Simon & Garfunkel,' opening this weekend Camelot Theatre in Talent. Mail Tribune / Denise Baratta