Terrence Mann Leads Connecticut Rep's MAN OF LA MANCHA, Now thru 6/16

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Terrence Mann Leads Connecticut Rep's MAN OF LA MANCHA, Now thru 6/16

Connecticut Repertory Theatre (CRT) launches its 2012 Nutmeg Summer Series with Man of La Mancha, running tonight, June 7 through June 16 in the intimate Harriett S. Jorgensen Theatre (lower Jorgensen Auditorium) on the UConn campus, Storrs.

Broadway legend and last season’s Henry Higgins, Terrence Mann returns to play the unforgettable Don Quixote. Mr. Mann originated the roles of Rum Tum Tugger in Cats, Javert in Les Miserables, and the Beast in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast on Broadway. Mr. Mann will be leading a spectacular cast, which also includes last summer’s audience favorite Richard Ruizwho played Alfred Doolittle in My Fair Lady and Alix Paige who played Eliza, also in My Fair Lady. James Barry, recently of Broadway’s Bloody, Bloody Andrew Jackson returns to his hometown and alma mater to play the Padre.

Man of La Mancha tells the story of Miguel de Cervantes who, at the height of the Spanish Inquisition, is imprisoned and uses the story of the knight-errant Don Quixote to defend himself. The story features unforgettable characters such as Sancho Panza, played by UConn alum, Richard Ruiz and Aldonza played by last season’s dazzling Eliza, Alix Paige. With its beautiful Latin-tinged score, the original production of Man of La Mancha ran for six years on Broadway, won the Tony for Best Musical and gave us the indelible anthem of hope, “The Impossible Dream.”

The production will be directed by CRT Artistic Director Vincent J. Cardinal. Mr. Cardinal said “The great energy and entertainment Terrence Mann, Richard Ruiz, and Alix Paige brought to our stage last summer was so special that we had to reunite them for another classic of the American Musical Theatre! After seeing James Barry on Broadway in Bloody, Bloody Andrew Jackson, I knew we had to bring him back to his home town stage and alma mater this summer season.”

THE CAST

Terrence Mann (Henry Higgins) made his Broadway debut in 1982 as Chester Lyman in the Tony Award-winning musical Barnum. However, his breakthrough performance came with the memorable lead role of the “playful” cat Rum Tum Tugger in the original Broadway cast of Cats. Mann’s portrayal of Inspector Javert in the original Broadway production of Les Miserables earned him his first Tony Award nomination for Best Actor in a Leading Role. His second Tony Award nomination came in 1994 when he played the Beast in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. Most recently, he completed a Broadway run as Mal Beineke in The Addams Family. Other stage credits include The Scarlet Pimpernel (Chauvlin), Rags, Jerome Robbins’ Broadway, Getting Away With Murder, the 2000 Broadway revival of The Rocky Horror Show, Assassins, Lennon, and The Lost Colony.

His film credits include A Chorus Line, A Circle on the Cross, Eavesdrop, and all four Critters films. TV credits include Smash, 30 ROCK, The Dresden Files, All My Children (Earl Boyd), The Equalizer, The Tick, Law and Order, and an Emmy nominated turn on As The World Turns. Mr. Mann is the Distinguished Chair of Musical Theatre at Western Carolina University. Last summer Mr. Mann portrayed Prof. Henry Higgins in CRT’s My Fair Lady.

Alix Paige (Aldonza/Dulcinea) played Eliza Doolittle in last summer’s Nutmeg Series’ production of My Fair Lady. She also appeared as General Cartwright and a Hot Box Girl in Guys and Dolls at CRT immediately following a run of Jason Robert Brown’s Parade in which she starred as Lucille at the Secret Theatre in New York City. National Tours: Irving Berlin’s I Love a Piano (Ginger), Cabaret (Sally Bowles u/s). Regional: The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Logan), Bat Boy (Meredith), I Love A Piano (Ginger), Sunday in the Park with George (Dot). Film: Transatlantic Coffee (Jazz Singer), Work Out (Marcia), Vanished (Jen).

Richard Ruiz (Sancho Panza) graduated from UConn in 1998 and returns to CRT after playing Alfred Doolittle last season in My Fair Lady. Off Broadway he has appeared in Two Gentlemen of Verona for The Public Theatre. National tours include: Sweet Charity, Urinetown, Man of La Mancha and Jesus Christ Superstar. Regionally he has appeared in Cyrano (Folger Shakespeare, DC), Tis Pity She’s a Whore (Baltimore Center Stage), The Mystery of Irma Vep (Intiman Theatre), Guys and Dolls (Long Wharf Theatre), Moby Dick: Rehearsed (Berkshire Theatre Festival), Candide (Arden Theatre, PA), Love’s Labour’s Lost (Connecticut Repertory Theatre), Treasure Island (People’s Light and Theatre, PA), A Midsummer Nights Dream (Two Rivers Theatre, NJ), The Music Man (Lyric Theatre, OK), Picasso at the Lapin Agile (Theatre Virginia), and The Winter’s Tale (Yale Repertory Theatre).

James Barry (The Padre/Juan) grew up in Mansfield and is a graduate of E.O. Smith High School and UConn. Broadway: Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson. New York: Sive (Irish Rep, NY), JB (78th St. Theatre Lab, NY). Regional: Wittenberg Chester Theatre Company, The Full Monty (Drury Lane, Chicago), Pump Boys & Dinettes (New Theatre,Kansas City), Bomb-itty of Errors (Syracuse Stage), and several productions with The Berkshire Theatre Festival where credits include Tommy, The Caretaker, The Misanthrope, The Einstein Project, A Dream Play and many others since the 2000 season.

Vincent J. Cardinal (Director) Most recently he served as Director of the Performing Arts Center at Adelphi University. Previously, he was the Artistic Director of the Jerry Herman Ring Theatre in Coral Gables, FL where his musical theatre productions garnered international attention. Mr. Cardinal was the Director of off-Broadway‘s Circle Repertory Company School of Theater. He was also an Associate Artist with The Circle Repertory Company and a member of its LAB. He graduated in Playwriting from the Yale School of Drama where he was honored with the ASCAP-Cole Porter Award for Best-Collected Work. His play, The Colorado Catechism, premiered at Circle Repertory Company. The Los Angeles production of the play garnered actors TimoThy Daly and Amy Van Nostrand Dramalogue Awards for Best Performances. Cardinal’s play King Dusyanta: A Tale from Kalidasa premiered, under his direction, at the Oasis Theater Company. It starred Broadway’s André DeShields. Mr. Cardinal directed Eileen Gallindo’s Multicultural Disorder for Next Stage, NY, Joe Fox’s new play Prism View at New Dramatists, NY and Paul Corrigan’s Queens Blvd. in a commercial off-Broadway run. He recently directed Steve Hayes: Hollywood Reunion at Red House in Syracuse, NY. Last summer he directed Guys and Dolls and My Fair Lady for the Nutmeg Series and Spring Awakening at Connecticut Repertory Theatre, April 2012.

Evening performances start at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, and at 8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Matinee performances start at 2 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. Single ticket prices range from $10 to $42.

The intimate Harriet S. Jorgensen Theatre is located on the campus of the University of Connecticut in Storrs and offers air-conditioned comfort and convenient nearby parking (free parking is in Lot 9 across from the Jorgensen Center, paid parking is available in the North Garage).

Call 860.486.2113 or visit www.crt.uconn.edu for tickets and additional information. Follow the theatre on Twitter and Facebook.

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