'Man of La Mancha' reaches the unreachable star at Marriott Theatre
One of the greatest musicals of all time, MAN OF LA MANCHA takes to the stage at the Marriott Theatre in a whole new light, literally. This five-time Tony award winning show features a unique contemporary production, complete with current costumes, bright lighting and a loud PA system. In this timeless tale, the struggles between 16th century Spain and modern day society remain the same.
This is a story within a story. Miguel de Cervantes sits in prison, awaiting his fate with his squire Sancho Panza. He tells the other prisoners the story of Don Quixote, a knight with a heart of gold who always strives what to do what is right. Everyone around him thinks Quixote is delusional, including his own family who tries to help him. Quixote needs a woman to honor and he chooses Aldonza, who he affectionately calls Dulcinea, and leads her to discover her own confidence and self-respect. Quixote sees life not as it is, but how it should be.
Jeff Award Nominee Nathaniel Stanley as Cervantes/Don Quixoteis in a word, outstanding. His grace and presence is that of a Shakespearean actor, coupled with a powerful baritone voice. When he sang The Impossible Dream, the applause was thunderous and he had to wait to resume his lines. And wait. And wait. Richard Ruiz as sidekick Sancho was perfect with his funny antics and voice to match. Four-time Jeff Award Winner Danni Smith as Aldonza plays the role with strength with a sense of real vulnerability. Her lovely voice comes off as both powerful and tender. James Harms is truly the veteran of the show, having reprised his role as Cervantes at other theatres. In Marriott's show, he plays the role of Padre/Judas Macabeo. Musical Director Ryan T. Nelson and six-time Jeff Award Winner Director Nick Bowling do an outstanding job of presenting this classic musical in a one-act, no-intermission show. Memorable songs like "The Impossible Dream, "Man of La Mancha" and "Dulcinea" filled the theatre with music and hope from this idealist dreamer.