Westport Country Playhouse Stages The Musical MAN OF LA MANCHA
Westport Country Playhouse will stage "Man of La Mancha," the Tony Award-winning musical about Don Quixote's quest for "The Impossible Dream," from September 25 through October 13. Directed by Mark Lamos, Westport Country Playhouse artistic director, the story of Quixote's battle for good and the love of his fair maiden is written by Dale Wasserman, with music by Mitch Leigh, and lyrics by Joe Darion.
"Man of La Mancha" is inspired by Cervantes' masterpiece "Don Quixote," celebrating the perseverance of a man who refuses to relinquish his ideals or his passion. Quixote and his squire Sancho Panza set out on an imaginative journey to restore the age of chivalry, to battle evil, and to right all wrongs. Their adventure leads them to Aldonza, a prostitute, to whom Quixote is the first to show respect as his lady "Dulcinea." The 1965 Broadway treasure is the winner of five Tony Awards, including Best Musical, with an enchanting score most famous for Quixote's credo, "The Impossible Dream."
"'Man of La Mancha' is one of the greatest of all American musicals," said Lamos. "Based on a few early chapters in Cervantes' novel 'Don Quixote,' Dale Wasserman's play with a rousing score by Mitch Leigh has become one of the most beloved and perhaps the most-produced musical of all time. Playing around the world continually in scores of languages. Its story is not only universal but inspiring, and the journey of its central characters remains ever-resonant to every period in which it is produced."
Lamos added, "It's a thrilling piece of musical theater, and our production features an extraordinary company of actor-singer-dancers who will bring it to fiery life."
Cast members are: Philip Hernandez as Cervantes/Don Quixote (only actor in Broadway history to play both Jean Valjean and Inspector Javert in "Les Misérables"; original Broadway casts of "Kiss of the Spider Woman" and Paul Simon's "The Capeman"); Gisela Adisa as Aldonza/Dulcinea (Broadway's "Beautiful"; First National Tour of "Sister Act"; New York's "Marie Christine"); and Tony Manna as Sancho Panza (Off-Broadway's "These Paper Bullets," "Timon of Athens," "The Hasty Heart"; Netflix' "Maniac").
Also, Ceasar F. Barajas as Pedro (regional theater's "Man of La Mancha" as Pedro---Helen Hayes Award nominee, "In The Heights"); Carlos Encinias as Padre (Broadway's "Mamma Mia," "Good Vibrations," "Les Misérables"; Off-Broadway's "Altar Boyz"); Michael Scott Gomez as Paco/Guard/Horse (regionals theater's "La Cage aux Folles," "Mary Poppins," "Gypsy," "A Chorus Line"); Paola Hernandez as Antonia (National Tour of "Rent"; regional theater's "Spring Awakening," "Legally Blonde," "Hairspray"); Michael Mendez as Innkeeper/Tenorio (Broadway's "Chaplin"; New York City Center Encores'! "Hey Look My Over!"); Ian Paget as Captain/Anselmo (Broadway's "Mamma Mia"; West End's "West Side Story"---Olivier Award nomination); Lulu Picart as Maria/Housekeeper (First National Tour of "Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella"; Off-Broadway's "Disenchanted"---Lortel nomination); David Sattler as Governor (European Tour of "Grease"; regional theater's "Kiss Me Kate" "Evita," "Chicago," "Carousel"); Jermaine Rowe as Juan/Guard/Horse (Broadway's "The Lion King," "Fela!"; Dance Theatre of Harlem, National Dance Theatre Company of Jamaica); Clay Singer as Duke/Carrasco (Westport Country Playhouse's "Romeo and Juliet"; Off-Broadway's "Single Rider"); and Esteban Suero as Barber/José ("Big Fish" as Will Bloom, "Evita" as Che, "Rent" as Angel; National Tour of "Rockin' Road to Dublin").
Director Mark Lamos has helmed many plays at Westport Country Playhouse since 2008. His extensive New York credits include "Our Country's Good," for which he received a Tony Award nomination. A former artistic director at Hartford Stage, he earned the 1989 Tony Award for the theater's body of work. He was awarded the Connecticut Medal for the Arts as well as honorary doctorates from Connecticut College, University of Hartford, and Trinity College. In 2016 he was the recipient of the John Houseman Award.
The creative staff includes Andrew David Sotomayor, music director; Wayne Barker, music supervisor; Marcos Santana, musical staging and choreography; Wilson Chin, scenic design; Fabian Fidel Aguilar, costume design; Alan C. Edwards, lighting design; Domonic Sack, sound design; and Michael Rossmy, fight director/intimacy coach.
The creators of "Man of La Mancha" are Dale Wasserman, playwright, who also wrote "One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest"; Mitch Leigh, composer, who received the Contemporary Classics Award from the Songwriter's Hall of Fame for "The Impossible Dream"; and Joe Darion, lyricist, who wrote book and lyrics for "Illya Darling," based on the film "Never On Sunday."
"Man of La Mancha" received special funding by Maureen and Edwin Schloss. Production Sponsors are Barbara and John Samuelson, and Barbara and John Streicker. Production Partners are Carol and Peter Seldin. Corporate Production Sponsor is Bank of America. Corporate Production Partner is Cohen and Wolf. Educations Sponsors are The Graham Foundation of Connecticut, and The David and Geri Epstein Private Foundation.
Performance schedule is Tuesday at 7 p.m., Wednesday at 2 and 8 p.m., Thursday and Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 3 and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m. Special series feature Taste of Tuesday (September 25), LGBT Night OUT (September 27), Opening Night (September 29), Sunday Symposium (September 30), Together at the Table Family Dinner (October 2), Sitter Sunday, sponsored by the Westport/Weston YMCA (October 7), Open Captions (October 7), Backstage Pass (October 10), Playhouse Happy Hour (October 11), Thursday TalkBack (October 11), and Open Captions in Spanish (October 13).
Single tickets start at $30; buy early for best prices.
Upcoming productions at Westport Country Playhouse include the world-premiere drama, "Thousand Pines," October 30 - November 17, written by Matthew Greene and directed by Austin Pendleton, from WCP's New Works Circle Initiative, a story of common humanity as families struggle with grief, healing, and forgiveness in the wake of a shooting at Thousand Pines Junior High School; and "The Pianist of Willesden Lane," December 5 - 22, directed by Hershey Felder, a musical memoir starring Mona Golabek, about a young Jewish piano prodigy who escapes the Holocaust via Kindertransport to England. All play titles, artists, and dates are subject to change.
For more information and to buy tickets, visit www.westportplayhouse.org, or call the box office at (203) 227-4177, toll-free at 1-888-927-7529, or visit Westport Country Playhouse, 25 Powers Court, off Route 1, Westport. Stay connected to the Playhouse on Facebook (Westport Country Playhouse), follow on Twitter (@WCPlayhouse), and on YouTube (WestportPlayhouse).
ABOUT Westport Country Playhouse
The mission of Westport Country Playhouse is to enrich, enlighten, and engage the community through the power of professionally produced theater worth talking about and the welcoming experience of the Playhouse campus. The not-for-profit Playhouse provides this experience in multiple ways by offering live theater experiences of the highest quality, under the artistic direction of Mark Lamos; educational and community engagement events to further explore the work on stage; the New Works Circle Initiative, a program dedicated to the discovery, development, and production of new live theatrical works; special performances and programs for students and teachers with extensive curriculum support material; Script in Hand play readings to deepen relationships with audiences and artists; the renowned Woodward Internship Program during the summer months for aspiring theater professionals; Family Festivities presentations to delight young and old alike and to promote reading through live theater; youth performance training through Broadway Method Academy, WCP's resident conservatory program; and the beautiful and historic Playhouse campus open for enjoyment and community events year-round.