Camelot is a musical by Alan Jay Lerner (book and lyrics) and Frederick Loewe (music). It is based on the King Arthur legend as adapted from the T. H. White tetralogy novel The Once and Future King.
The original 1960 production, directed by Moss Hart and orchestrated by Robert Russell Bennett and Philip J. Lang, ran on Broadway for 873 performances, winning four Tony Awards and spawning several revivals, foreign productions and a 1967 film version. The original cast album was America's top-selling LP for 60 weeks. The musical has become associated with the Kennedy Administration. In 1959, Alan Jay Lerner and Moss Hart decided to adapt T. H. White's The Once and Future King as their next project. As discussed in Lerner's 1978 book, The Street Where I Live, Frederick Loewe, who had no interest in the project, agreed to write music, with the understanding that if things went badly, it would be his last score. After the tremendous success of My Fair Lady, expectations were high for a new Lerner and Loewe musical. However, the show's production met several obstacles. Lerner's wife left him during the writing process, causing him to seek medical attention and delaying the production. When Camelot began rehearsals, it still needed considerable work. However, the producers were able to secure a strong cast including Julie Andrews, Richard Burton and Roddy McDowall, as well as Robert Goulet in his first Broadway role. John Cullum also made his Broadway debut as Sir Dinadan; Bruce Yarnell was Sir Lionel. Cullum later replaced McDowall, and William Squire replaced Burton. Other replacements included Patricia Bredin, Kathryn Grayson and Janet Pavek for Andrews.