The dream-like setting is a walled community, from which the characters ceaselessly try to escape, without success. Only Don Quixote, who calls himself "an unashamed victim of romantic folly," has access to the outside. Kilroy is a central figure, an ex-boxer, always the Patsy, the fall guy, who asks so little and always gets short-changed, but he never quits hoping to see the outside. The other principal story is a romance between the aging, hunting Camille and the fading Casanova, who yearns now only for tenderness and faithfulness. There are subdued sequences of tenderness and pathos as well as scenes of cataclysmic violence: the near escape of Kilroy the battle to ride the escape plane; and the wild fiesta to crown the "tired old peacock," Casanova.
Camino Real premiered on Broadway at the Martin Beck Theater in March 1953 under the direction of Elia Kazan.