MAN OF LA MANCHA at Candlelight Dinner Playhouse is Sure to Leave You Smiling

MAN OF LA MANCHA at Candlelight Dinner Playhouse is Sure to Leave You Smiling

Throughout musical theatre history, there have been many shows that have set a new standard for the stage. Among them are those that become classics of the musical theatre repertoire, such as Fiddler on the Roof, Carousel, and Candlelight's latest production, Man of La Mancha. Based on The Adventures of Don Quixote by Miguel Cervantes, Man of La Mancha tells the story of Don Quixote, an elderly knight who sets out into a bleak and unbearable world to defeat his fantasies of heathens, wizards and serpents of sin, while his friends desperately attempt to bring him back to reality. Written as a play within a play, we meet Cervantes as he waits in a prison to be summoned before the Spanish Inquisition. As he waits, he tells the tale of Don Quixote to his fellow prisoners and soon they become fellow characters on Quixote's quest.

Candlelight's production is as smooth as they come. Director Scott Beyette has done a fine job with this cast and production team. Most outstanding is Halea Coulter's work as Scenic Designer, accompanied by Vance McKenzie's work as Lighting Designer and Joel Adam Chavez as Scenic Artist. Their work allowed for a very visual and artistic performance and truly elevated the performances from the cast. Music Direction by Victor Walters and Choreography by Bob Hoppe are also high quality in both concept and execution.

The show itself gives a lot of opportunity for a lot of actors. It is a true ensemble show in that each person is significant to the production. Overall, each cast member is enjoyable in what they bring to the table. As Aldonza, Heather McClain is rather vigorous in her portrayal and at times, rough around the edges, much like her character. As the trusty sidekick, Sancho, Ethan Knowles had a lot of opportunity to play with the comedy aspect of his character that was not fully realized. Oftentimes, I found him to be playing to the audience more than with his fellow actors. I think had a connection been made with who was on stage it would have had a stronger comedic effect. As the titular Cervantes/Don Quixote, David. L Wygant is a natural in the role. His ability to casually slip in and out of Quixote in something to be admired, as is his more tender interpretation of the act one finale, The Impossible Dream.

Other notable performances include Ben Griffin as the Barber, Kent Sugg as the Innkeeper and Governor, Sarah Grover as Antonia, Annie Dwyer as the Housekeeper, and Eric Heine as Padre, although, truly, everyone delivered a high quality performance.

Man of Lan Mancha runs at Candlelight Dinner Playhouse April 26 - June 17, 2018. Dinner and show tickets can be purchased by calling Candlelight's box office - 970-744- 3747, or online at

Photo by Garland Photography

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From This Author Jon Bee

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