Camelot Musical Spotlights

Camelot Theatre Musical Spotlights - 2004 - 2012

I've worked with Camelot Theatre since 2004 in the creation of numerous musical spotlights that feature "a little biography and a lot of music!" Camelot has grown into one of the best theaters in this theater-rich valley. Solid evidence of that is Camelot's new theatre, completed in 2011 and located in Talent, just a few miles north of Ashland. Spotlights tell the story of the life and music of the featured composer or singer. 5 or 6 of the area's finest musicians comprise the spotlight band. 5-piece band made up of some of the area's best musicians.

Camelot Theatre in Talent, Oregon

Rosemary Clooney Spotlight rehearsal - 2012

Rosemary Band Rehearsing 2012
Gayle sings at Camelot Theatre
Gayle and Jade

2012 - "Spotlight on Rosemary Clooney" is the fascinating story of Clooney’s meteoric rise to fame and her fall from grace due to drugs and alcohol. She suffered a complete emotional and physical breakdown and spent months in the mental ward of a famous Los Angeles hospital. Through sheer grit and determination, Rosemary made a fantastic comeback in a career that spanned 60 years. Featured 23 of her biggest hits including "Come On-A My House", "Mambo Italiano", "Hey There" and "Tenderly". This Camlot spotlight was originally staged in 2004. Due to popular demand, it was reprised for the November 2012 spotlight. Kathy Campbell-piano, Steve Fain-bass, Dennis Freese-woodwinds, Peter Spring-woodwinds, Steve Sutfin-drums. George Rubaloff-narrator,vocals. Arrangements by Dal Carver.

Dusty/Pet Band

2011 - "Spotlight on The Blue Divas of the Roaring Twenties" What a show this was! I was joined by vocalist Jade Watt, and, together with a red-hot band, we brought to life the music of Bessie Smith, Ma Rainey, Georgia White, Ida Cox, Sippie Wallace and many others. These classic blueswomen of the 1920's made the blues acceptable in mainstream society. Band personnel for this show; Kathy Campbell on piano, Gary Creek on guitar and banjo, Dennis Freese on clarinet & sax, Gary Nelson on trombone, Peter Spring on bass and Steve Sutfin on drums. Arrangements by Michael Vannice. "Blue Divas Review" by John Darling, Tempo/Revels of the Mail Tribune and Ashland Daily Tidings;"What a blast to take in this amazing review of the Blues Divas of the 1920s. I was spellbound by the energy, savvy, sexiness and humor of these women - both the '20s women AND Gayle and Jade today - as they alternately sang sweetly about love and then would belt out songs of lust, so funny, rich and good!!! This was a huge historic turning point in music, the first time women composed and cut their own records and sang them to black and white audiences, with white listeners barely prepared to be set back on their heels in amazement. This was the sound track to a crazy decade, similar to the Sixties, when the whole country emerged from boring decades of good behavior and went wild with the delights of life."

2010 - "Spotlight on Dusty Springfield and Petula Clark" These were the only women who were considered part of the British Invasion of the 1960's. Competing with a host of "boy bands" from the U.K., these two often topped the charts with hits like "I Only Want To Be With You", "Don't Sleep in the Subway", "The Look of Love", "Downtown", and later, for Dusty, "Son of a Preacher Man". We played 22 hit songs representing an era of go-go boots, thick eye makeup and frosted lipstick. Musicians left to right; Gary Creek, Kathy Campbell, Steve Sutfin, Gayle Wilson, Dave Miller and Donna Bishop. Arrangements by Dal Carver.

"Girl Singers of the Big Band Era" Band
Gayle sings Karen Carpenter

2008 - "Spotlight on The Girl Singers of the Big Band Era" From the mid-1930’s to the end of World War Two, feisty and talented Girl Singers graced the bandstands of the likes of Benny Goodman, Glenn Miller, Duke Ellington and the Dorsey Brothers. In this spotlight, we presented the music and stories of 16 sensuous songbirds like Marion Hutton, Helen Forrest, Kay Starr and Jo Stafford. They all had their idiosyncracies; Billie Holiday couldn’t keep a regular gig, Anita O’Day rejected the trademark gown in favor of pants and a tuxedo jacket, Dinah Washington carried a gun. Young and talented, they traveled in a man’s world and became famous in their own right. 20 popular songs include “It Don’t Mean A Thing if it Ain’t Got That Swing”, “Green Eyes”, “Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea” and “Just in Time”. Monster 7-piece band: (Back row, left to right) Brent Norton - guitar, Dave Miller - bass, Steve Sutfin - drums, Daryl Fjeldheim - tenor sax, clarinet and flute, Michael Vannice - alto sax, clarinet and flute, Pat DeBellis - trumpet and fluegelhorn. (Front row left to right) Brent Olstad, piano, Gayle Wilson vocals, David Gabriel, narrator. Arrangements by Dal Carver.

2009 - "Spotlight on Karen Carpenter" We presented all the Carpenters hits as well as explored the personal side of her life that ended all too soon at the age of 32. As lead singer for one of the great musical sensations of the 1970’s, Karen Carpenter became known the world over for her expressive contralto voice and her personal interpretations of the songs she sang. Her tragic death held one positive after-effect; massive media attention on a variety of secretive and deadly eating disorders. An enormously popular brother-and-sister team, The Carpenters sold millions of records. Among their hits; “We’ve Only Just Begun”, “Close To You”, “Top of the World”, “Rainy Days and Mondays”, “For All We Know”, “Superstar”, “Yesterday Once More” “Goodbye to Love”, “Hurting Each Other” “Sing” and “Only Yesterday”. Band personnel; Jim Calhoun on bass, Don Harriss on keyboards, Kathy Campbell on keyboards, flute and vocals, Steve Sutfin on drums. Arrangements by Dal Carver.

2007 - "Spotlight on Doris Day" The quintessential, all-American girl-next-door, Doris Day overcame many setbacks in her life including being ripped off by her lawyer for over $22 million dollars and 5 marriages (along with 5 divorcs.) Her long career includes over 600 recordings and 39 films ranging from musicals to comedies to serious dramas. This spotlight featured 22 songs including "Que Sera, Sera", "Pillow Talk" and "Secret Love". Musicians from left to right are Mike Ponti on guitar, Crystal Reeves on violin, Dave Miller on bass, Dal Carver on piano, J.S. McDaniel (narrator), Gayle Wilson, vocals, Steve Sutfin on drums. Arrangements by Dal Carver.

Gayle as Doris Day
Rehearsing for Patti Page Spotlight

2006 - "Spotlight on Patti Page" She was the reigning Queen of pop music during the 1950's. Miss Patti Page, 'The Singing Rage', remains an American icon with 15 gold records including “Tennessee Waltz”, “How Much is That Doggie in the Window?”, "Let Me Go, Lover" and "The Days of Wine and Roses". This musical tribute includes 23 Patti Page hits. This photo, taken during a tech rehearsal, shows all members of the band. From left to right; Jeff Addicott on bass, Paul Jenny on guitar and trumpet, Peter Spring on sax, flute and percussion, Gayle Wilson on vocals, Steve Sutfin on drums, Dal Carver on piano, Crystal Reeves on guitar and violin. All arrangements by Dal Carver.

The Andrews Sisters

2004 - "Spotlight on Rosemary Clooney" My first spotlight with Camelot Theatre. It was so popular, we brought it back in 2012. Personnel left to right; Dal Carver on piano, Steve Sutfin on drums, Jeff Addicott on bass, Peter Springs on flute/sax and Paul Jenny on trumpet and guitar. Arrangements by Dal Carver.

Clooney Band '04

2005 - "Spotlight on The Andrews Sisters" I sang the part of LaVerne Andrews (right), Livia Genise (middle) sang Maxene Andrews, and Presila Quinby (left) sang the part of blonde Patty Andrews. Intricate harmonies and lively personalities were the trademark of The Andrews Sisters, the world-renown trio of singing sisters that helped a nation through the dark days of World War II. They will forever be known as "America's Wartime Sweethearts". 22 hits include "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy", "Apple Blossom Time" and "Oh, Johnny, Oh!" Musicians left to right; Robin Lawson, piano, Bil Leonhart on guitar, Steve Sutfin on drums, Jim Calhoun on bass, Randy Scherer on cornet, Michael Vannice on sax and clarinet. Arrangements by Robin Lawson.