That's an important date, which he recalls as famous for a solar eclipse. He is captured and nearly burned at the stake until the solar phenomenon -- which he appears to have conjured -- turns him into a master magician in the eyes of King Arthur (Martin Beal) and his simple folk. Arthur's sister, Morgan La Fay (Hamilton again), arrives looking for another husband. She keeps bumping them off, it seems. Naturally, she is after the handsome Martin, but he meets Alisande (Rhoads again), recognizes his own true love, and resolves to marry only her.
It's all great fun, and along the way are several delightful performances (notably Lustig as the hero and Hamilton as the wicked Fay) and some deliciously witty lyrics. Not to mention the music, which features the fabulous "My Heart Stood Still" and "Thou Swell." The actors in this company love what they're doing, and their sheer enjoyment keeps the show buoyant and engaging. Never mind the contrived plot. Just enjoy those songs.
Julius Caesar runs through July 2 at the California Shakespeare Festival in Orinda; call (510) 548-9666. A Connecticut Yankee runs through June 25 at the New Conservatory Theater in S.F.; call 861-8972.