Man of La Mancha
Performances March 1, 2, 3, 2013
Directed by Jenny Stevens
Man of La Mancha takes inspiration from Cervantes' book, Don Quixote, even referencing it as a tool for his defense in the prison kangaroo court in which he is thrust. The play within a play device cleverly reveals a man who challenges the meaning of sanity and madness, of illness and delusion. Then, there is "the woman called Aldonza". Her situation challenges our sense of safety, justice, and morality. Sancho, with his "belly-full of proverbs" adds levity to the serious themes and gives us the opportunity to laugh at ourselves.
In citing the literary source for Man of La Mancha, Norman Nadel wrote, "Cervantes had begun Don Quixote as a satire on the romantic literature of the day, about 360 years ago, but he went on to write a durable compendium of human folly as well as a testament to man's unquenchable spirit".
Cervantes' book, Don Quixote, has been hailed as the first modern novel, inspiring artists for nearly four centuries. Man of La Mancha brings forward truths from Cervantes' book, framed in beautiful, poignant and memorable music as we follow Don Quixote and Sancho on their mad adventures. It is a rich and powerful story.
Art in all its forms has the power to be a voice for social and political change, to challenge our thinking, to be an agent of trust and justice and finally, to offer us both humor and beauty. Art can precipitate discussions on difficult issues such as poverty, injustice or violence against women. Art can reach us in our very soul and inspire each of us to dream our impossible dream.