Broad in scope and sweepingly ambitious, Camino Real springs from the deepest recesses of playwright Tennessee
Williams' heart and psyche, its complexity stemming not from a twisting and turning plot, but from the linguistic, visual and musical symbols that he employs to expose his innermost thoughts and feelings. The phrase "camino real" translates from Spanish as "royal road"--but in Williams' play it represents a dead end. Camino Real places familiar characters from
literature--such as Don Quixote (Medeiros), Casanova (Darlow) and Lord Byron (Montgomery)--in a mythical town in an
unspecificed Latin American country where the "spring of humanity has gone dry." These literary characters are joined by characters who are products of Williams' imagination, such as a freaky faction of "streetcleaners" whose job is to remove corposes from the streets, and an enigmatic gypsy (Hoerdemann). When Kilroy (Hopper), an American traveler and former
boxer inadvertently lands in Camino Real, he sets off on a venture through illusion and temptation in an attempt to flee its confines--and defy his grim destiny.