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Book and Lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner
Music by Frederick Loewe
Original Production Directed and Staged by Moss Hart
Based on "The Once and Future King" by T.H. White


The entire community of CAMELOT awaits the arrival of Guenevere, King Arthur of England's future Queen. Members of the audience are quickly drawn in. Some of the enchanting musical numbers include The Simple Joys of Maidenhood, The Lusty Month of May, How to Handle a Woman, I Loved You Once in Silence, If Ever I Would Leave You and What Do the Simple Folk Do? In the end it is fourteen-year-old Tom who tells the world of Camelot's quest for right and honor and justice.

AWARDS (1960-61)

4 Tony Awards for Actor, Conductor and Musical Director, Scenic Designer and Costume Designer
The Outer Critics Circle Award for Set Design


CAMELOT played for 873 performances on Broadway at the Majestic Theatre and for 518 performances in London at the Drury Lane Theatre. It starred Richard Burton, Julie Andrews, Robert Goulet and Roddy McDowall. It has been revived on Broadway several times, most recently in 1993 when it played for 56 performances at the George Gershwin Theatre starring Robert Goulet as King Arthur.


     A nervous King Arthur tries to cajole Merlyn, his teacher, to tell him about Guenevere the future Queen. Merlyn knows the future, as he lives from the future into the present. He grows younger instead of aging. Upon her arrival Guenevere dodges the awaiting crowds and hides as she sings The Simple Joys of Maidenhood. Arthur and Guenevere accidentally meet in the forest and are delighted to find they are charmed with each other. The wonderfully placid Camelot, where royal decree sets the tone, becomes the set for a story of love and chivalry.
     The trusty Merlyn is lured away from Arthur by a spirit and Arthur is on his own. Five years pass and Arthur tries to follow the course of wisdom set for him by Merlyn. He creates a new philosophy, one that says might should be the weapon of right. He creates the Round Table, a new concept of chivalry whose advocates will be charged with improving rather than destroying, with redressing past wrongs and aiding the oppressed. The table at which these knights will meet will be round so that no one man can take precedence by sitting at the head.
     The word of this Round Table spreads to France where Lancelot heeds its call and arrives in Camelot. In C'est Moi Lancelot proclaims that he is the most extraordinary mortal, the perfect and invincible knight. He has dedicated his life to the quest for perfection in body and spirit. The queen and her party are engaged in a May day outing when Lancelot arrives. Everyone finds him pompous and disagreeable except Arthur.
     Pellinore, a comic old knight in rusty armor, delays his perpetual search for a rare beast, to stop with his old friend Arthur upon Guenevere's invitation. Lancelot is challenged by Sir Dinadan, Sir Sagramore and Sir Lionel the three strongest knights. In The Jousts he defeats all three, and even miraculously brings Sir Lionel back to life after killing him. Lancelot finds that he has fallen in love with Guenevere and sings If Ever I Would Leave You to illustrate the strong hold Guenevere's love has on him. Mordred, the evil son of Arthur, arrives and tries to dishonor the King. He mocks Arthur's high ideals and tries to foster Guenevere's love for Lancelot. Arthur becomes despondent and Guenevere tries to cheer him with the lovely number What Do Simple Folks Do. The knights begin to grow restless for the battles of old when Arthur's leadership wanes. Mordred has Guenevere arrested and sentenced to burn at the stake for her love of Lancelot. The number Guenevere telescopes this action in a Camelotian form of Greek chorus, as she escapes to France with Lancelot. Arthur declares war on Lancelot, but just before the fighting begins forgives them both. He is sad and disillusioned, his dream of love is destroyed, and that of chivalry ruined.
     Tom, a boy about 14, appears and wants to join the Round Table. Arthur knights him, and sends him to tell the world of Camelot's quest for right and honor and justice. Additional memorable numbers include Camelot, Lusty Month of May, How to Handle a Woman and I Wonder What the King is Doing Tonight.


Full Orchestration

2 Violins A
1 Violin B
1 Viola
1 Cello
1 Bass
1 Flute - Piccolo
1 Oboe - English Horn
1 Clarinet I
1 Clarinet II - Eb Clarinet & Bass Clarinet & Flute or Clarinet & Bass Clarinet
1 Bassoon
1 Horn I & II
1 Horn III
1 Trumpets I & II
1 Trumpets III
1 Trombone I
1 Trombone II
1 Percussion:
  • Timpani (2 Drums)
  • Snare Drum (Brushes & Sticks)
  • Military Field Drum
  • Tom Toms (2 Pitches)
  • Bass Drum
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Hi - Hat Cymbals
  • Glockenspiel (Soft & Hard Mallets)
  • Xylophone (Soft & Hard Mallets)
  • Triangle
  • Wood Block
  • Tambourine
  • Tam Tam
1 Guitar - Lute - Mandolin
1 Harp
  Piano-Conductor's Score sent with rehearsal material.
  (There is no piano in the orchestration)

Theatre Combo (Few Strings)

1 Violin A
1 Violin B
1 Cello
1 Bass
1 Flute-Piccolo
1 Clarinet
1 Horn
1 Trumpets I & II (Trumpet II optional)
1 Trombone
1 Percussion
  Piano (Piano-Conductor's Score sent with rehearsal material)

Optional Additional Material

Stage Manager's Guide

2 Optional Additional Numbers:

Fie on Goodness
Take Me to the Fair


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