Man of La Mancha by Dale WassermanWinner of the New York Drama Critics Award for Best Musical, 1966
To me the most interesting aspect of the success of Man of La Mancha is the fact that it plows squarely upstream against the prevailing current of philosophy in the theater. That current is best identified by its catch-labels--Theater of the Absurd, Black Comedy, the Theater of Cruelty--which is to say the theater of alienation, of moral anarchy and despair. To the practitioners of those philosophies Man of La Mancha must seem hopelessly naive in its espousal of illusion as mans strongest spiritual need, the most meaningful function of his imagination. But Ive no unhappiness about that. Facts are the enemy of truth, says Cervantes-Don Quixote. And that is precisely what I felt and meant.--Dale Wasserman, from the Preface.
Man of La Mancha
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Miguel de Cervantes, aging and an utter failure in his varied careers as playwright, poet and tax collector, sits in a Seville dungeon with his manservant, awaiting trial by the Spanish Inquisition for an offense against the Church. The other prisoners set up a mock trial: if Cervantes is found guilty, he will hand over all his possessions. Cervantes agrees to do so, and offers his defense in the form of a play. Producing a makeup kit, he transforms himself into an old man who calls himself Don Quixote de La Mancha. In their first encounter, Don Quixote spots a windmill and mistakes it for a four-armed giant. Losing the battle, Don Quixote blames the mysterious workings of his enemy, The Dark Enchanter, and decides he must properly be dubbed a knight.
Director Glenn Casale helms a masterful production of one of Broadway's greatest musicals. Man of La Mancha is a triumph of visuals and vocal talents. Sharing the stage with a gifted ensemble, Davis Gaines astonishes as the mad but pure Don Quixote. The musical follows Miguel de Cervantes' 17th-century tale of a country squire Gaines whose burdens have driven him insane. The weary man convinces himself to be Don Quixote, a righteous knight who protects the lands from evil giants.
Synopsis: Man of La Mancha. Miguel de Cervantes, aging and an utter failure as playwright, poet and tax collector, has been thrown into a dungeon in Seville to.
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Selden and Hal James. Based on The Adventures of Don Quixote , by Miguel the Cervantes y Saavedra, Man of La Mancha is a comic tragedy of mankind's struggle to better both himself and the world in which he lives. When Cervantes started writing he intended a satirical burlesque of the then fashionable novels of chivalry; gradually the author's sympathies changed, ad the novel developed into a deeper, broader and more compassionate account of the adventures of and eccentric idealist in a hostile, greedy and cynical world, which leads the reader to the conclusion that if Don Quixote is a fool it is because the world does not live up to his ideals. This feeling is perfectly reflected in this beautiful musical version of the story. As with all the best allegorical tales, the oppressive mood of the fight against eternal evil is heightened by the sometimes comic, sometimes dramatic attempts of the hero to right all the wrongs of the world, and although his efforts at times seem puny and pathetic, the audience is left in no doubt as to the purity of intent that he instils into his self-imposed crusade. At times both inspiring and thought provoking, the story is both very entertaining and very moving, and will warm the heart of everyone whose spirits were ever raised by the prospect of a victory by the underdog against all the odds. The score is a musical delight, and contains one of the most moving moments in musical theatre as Don Quixote relates his personal credo in "The Impossible Dream".