Davis Gaines to Star in MAN OF LA MANCHA in the Round at Orlando Shakespeare Theater

Davis Gaines to Star in MAN OF LA MANCHA in the Round at Orlando Shakespeare TheaterBroadway veteran Davis Gaines and innovative in-the-round seating will be featured in Orlando Shakespeare Theater in Partnership with UCF's (Orlando Shakes) production of Man of La Mancha.

The multi-Tony Award-winning musical will run from September 6 - October 8, 2017 in the Margeson Theater. Tickets ($18 - $65) can be purchased by calling (407) 447-1700 ext. 1, online at www.orlandoshakes.org, or in person at the John and Rita Lowndes Shakespeare Center (812 E. Rollins St.).

Inspired by one of the greatest novels in Western literature, Man of La Mancha brings the audience into the world of the "mad knight" Don Quixote as he pursues his quest for the impossible dream. The internationally acclaimed musical is a glorious affirmation of the unyielding resilience of the human spirit. Featuring the classic song "The Impossible Dream," this timeless tale of love and adventure continues Orlando Shakes' streak of bringing the best of Broadway to the intimate Margeson Theater.

"Right now, I feel it's more important than ever that we give our community hope and something to believe in," said Jim Helsinger, Artistic Director at Orlando Shakes. "Man of La Mancha is more than just a classic Tony Award-winning musical. It's a reminder that the human spirit has an unyielding capacity for hope and love, and no matter how dark the world may seem, it is the light of our dreams that leads us on."

The decision to move Man of La Mancha into in-the-round seating came about as a solution to better meet the needs of audiences. Transforming the Margeson Theater into in-the-round seating will create an additional 69 seats, for a total of 390 tickets eligible to be sold per performance. It will also create a unique live theater environment that is rarely experienced in Central Florida.

"Musicals in-the-round bring the audience a closer, more immersive experience," said Helsinger. "Live theater is always a special experience, but with this style of seating audiences will be able to feel like they are a part of the story unfolding in front of them. They will be on the fields of La Mancha with Don Quixote."

Broadway veteran Davis Gaines will return to Orlando Shakes to star as Don Quixote. Best known for playing the title role in The Phantom of the Opera more than 2,000 times in New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, Gaines was last seen at Orlando Shakes in their 2015 production of Monty Python's SPAMALOT. Gaines also starred in the Theater's 2014 production of Les Misérables. Other Broadway and National Tour credits include Hello, Dolly! (with Carol Channing), Camelot (with Richard Burton) and The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (with Alexis Smith).

Starring opposite Gaines as Aldonza is Laura Hodos. Hodos is a four-time Carbonell Award nominee and New Times Critic's Choice for best supporting actress in 2016. She has been seen in the new Frank Wildhorn musical, Bonnie and Clyde (Asolo Repertory Theatre), in the premiere production of Jolson at the Winter Garden (Maltz Jupiter Theatre), and in 1776 (Mad Cow Theatre). Hodos' cabaret, The Bard Takes Broadway was produced by Orlando Shakes for UCF Celebrates the Arts 2017.

Additional casting includes Matt Zambrano as Sancho, E. Mani Cadet as the Innkeeper, Patrick Oliver Jones as Dr. Carrasco, Victor Souffrant as the Padre, Alexander Mrazek as Pedro, Andrew Meidenbauer as the Barber, Alina Alcantara as Maria, Melanie Farber as Fermina, Fredy Ruiz and Shonn McCloud as Muleteer, and Deirdre Manning as Antonia.

Making his Orlando Shakes directorial debut is Nick DeGruccio. Recent directing credits include the Southern California Premiere of First Date (La Mirada Theatre), Sondheim's Company (Cabrillo Music Theatre), and the LA Regional Premiere of Next To Normal (La Mirada Theatre). DeGruccio also previously directed Gaines in Musical Theatre West's production of Man of La Mancha in 2012.

Musical Director Michael Raabe's past directing credits include Disenchanted! (Theatre at St. Clements/Westside Theatre), Hairspray (American Stage in the Park), End of the Rainbow (freeFall Theatre), and The Boy from Oz (TheatreZone).

The Orlando Shakes artistic team also includes Choreographer Kim Ball, Scenic Designer Jim Hunter, Lighting Designer Bert Scott, Costume Designer Denise R. Warner, Sound Designers Craig Beyrooti and Trevor Peters, and Audio Engineer Britt Sandusky.

PERFORMANCE INFORMATION AND RELATED EVENTS:

Preview Dates: September 6 & 7 at 7:30 p.m.

Opening Date: September 8 at 7:30 p.m.

Senior Matinees: September 13; 20; 27; and October 4 at 2 p.m.

Talk Back Performance: September 24 at 2 p.m.

Opening Night Party & Pre-Show Chat - Friday, September 8, 2017

Arrive at 6:15 p.m. to enjoy free light appetizers from a local eatery, followed by a brief, informative discussion about the creative process with the Director and members of the creative team. Free to all opening night ticket holders. No RSVP necessary.

Tickets: Wednesdays - Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays at 2:00 p.m. - $35, $50, $65; Preview Performances and Senior Matinees - $18, $25, $33

DISCOUNTS (May not be combined with any other offers):

$25 Under 35 Week: Patrons 34 years old and under can purchase $25 tickets for evening and weekend matinee performances during the third week (September 20-24, 2017) of the production. Call the Box Office at (407) 447-1700 ext. 1 or purchase online with code word: 25UNDER35

Group Sales: 20% off groups of 10+

Student Rush: $25 - 30 minutes prior to show w/ valid student ID

Student and Active/Retired Military: $10 off single ticket prices w/ valid ID (Only available in Price Levels A and B)

Founded in 1989, Orlando Shakespeare Theater in Partnership with UCF produces classic, contemporary, and children's plays. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Jim Helsinger and Managing Director PJ Albert, Orlando Shakes has grown into one of the region's most acclaimed professional AEA theaters, garnering national recognition from The Wall Street Journal's Terry Teachout. "Hence the high quality of Orlando Shakespeare, a company that deserves to be far more widely known outside Florida." With ambitious, high-caliber productions like 2016's West Side Story, Love's Labour's Lost and 2014's Les Miserables and Henry V, the Theater continues to provide an innovative world-class theatrical experience to its guests, while showcasing William Shakespeare's legacy as the cornerstone of the company. Orlando Shakes also offers immersive educational programming that serves Central Florida schools and the local community at large. For more information visit www.orlandoshakes.org.


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