Merlin tried to bring order to the troubled land of ancient Britain by providing a king from the Uther Pendragon line of royalty. By enchanting Igraine to see Uther as her husband, Arthur was engendered. Later, Uther married Igraine, before Arthur was born. Uther, however, was not to have a son to enjoy, for he had agreed with Merlin to do anything to have a liaison with Igraine for one night. Merlin's price was the son born of the liaison.
As an archetype of mythology, Merlin developed from Trickster, to Magician, to Oracle, to Sage (the four levels of development discussed in Jeff McBride's Magic and Mystery School.
Doug Henning's second Broadway show, which ran from February 13, 1983 to August 7, 1983 was Merlin.
Starring Doug, Debbie and Chita Rivera, as well as young actors Nathan Lane and Christian Slater, the lavish show received five Tony nominations, including Best Musical. The show also broke a Broadway record for setting the one-week box office record at the Mark Hellinger Theatre, earning $421,000.