BWW Review: MAN OF LA MANCHA at the John W. Engeman Theatre lead by Janet Dacal, Richard Todd Adams, and Carlos Lopez

BWW Review: MAN OF LA MANCHA at the John W. Engeman Theatre lead by Janet Dacal, Richard Todd Adams, and Carlos Lopez

Northport's gorgeous John W. Engeman Theatre does it again with a stellar showing of theatre staple Man Of La Mancha, the second show of their dazzling 12th Season. This incarnation of the Tony winner, running through October 28th, is excellently directed by Peter Flynn and boasts an extraordinary cast. Long Island is certainly lucky to have this production lead by Broadway vets Janet Dacal, Richard Todd Adams, and Carlos Lopez.

The tale follows Cervantes as he puts on "plays" - starring as crazy, old knight Don Quixote - as he and fellow prisoners await their hearings with the Spanish Inquisition. Fellow literary lovers will recognize the musical's loose adaptation from Dale Wasserman's 1959 teleplay I, Don Quixote of which was inspired by Miguel de Cervantes and his 17th-century novel Don Quixote. And you will also see that it is a very busy show, so it is best to stay as focused as possible as they flip back and forth between reality and fantasy (the "play").

Mr. Adams makes a wonderful Cervantes/Don Quixote. The complexity and Mr. Adams' delivery of role really draws the audience in. Ms. Dacal masterfully portrays Aldonza (or Dulcinea in the fantasy). Indeed an audience favorite is her emotional performance of "What Does He Want Of Me" in act one and in the reprise of "Dulcinea" in act two. Mr. Lopez is also a standout as Sancho, Cervantes trusty assistant (and Squire in the "play" sequences), providing many "laugh out loud" moments. Overall, the large company is truly brilliant with pretty much everyone taking on multiple roles between the dungeon scenes and the "play".

On Mr. Flynn's creative team, Michael Bottari & Ronald Case design the superb set for the Long Island venue. An elevated, large stair case majestically falls to the prisoners below with the rest of the gloomy stage filled with a cinder block look. This is chillingly enhanced with Kurt Alger's clever costumes and Don Hanna's sound design. Special kudos also to Alan C. Edwards for the top-notch lighting design especially for the "Knight of the Mirrors" number featuring the most amazing Knight costume. And, of course, it is always a treat to see a live orchestra. Headed up by Julianne B. Merrill, the band is flawless as they perform the iconic score.

And so, Man Of La Mancha is certainly another hit for Long Island's John W. Engeman Theatre. An outstanding cast and the stunning John W. Engeman Theatre make for a magnificent night of theatre.

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Man Of La Mancha is presented by Long Island's John W. Engeman Theatre located in Northport. For more information and to purchase tickets, please call 631-261-2900 or visit www.engemantheater.com

Book by Dale Wasserman, Lyrics by Joe Darion, and Music by Mitch Leigh, Produced by Richard Dolce, Directed by Peter Flynn (Engeman Theater: Man of La Mancha (2008); NY Theater: Curvy Widow at Westside Arts Theatre, Born Yesterday at Maltz-Jupiter Theatre; Regional: Ragtime and 1776 at Ford's Theatre, Chess with Josh Groban & Julia Murney, Andrea Martin: Final Days Everything Must Go), Choreography by Devanand Janki (Engeman Theater: Man of La Mancha (2008); Off-Broadway: Zanna, Don't!, Junie B. Jones, Henry and Mudge, The Yellow Brick Road, Skippyjon Jones, This One Girl's Story, Cupid and Psyche, Love & Real Estate, Romantic Poetry; Lincoln Center: Amahl and the Night Visitors, Babes in Toyland), Musical Direction by Julianne B. Merrill (NY Theater: A Man of No Importance, Parade; Regional: Smokey Joe's Café, Matilda; International: Into the Woods), Associate Choreographer is Nandita Shenoy, Scenic Design by Michael Bottari & Ronald Case, Costume & Wig Design by Kurt Alger, Lighting Design by Alan C. Edwards, Sound Design by Don Hanna, Casting by Gayle Seay & Scott Wojcik & Holly Buczek of WOJCIK/SEAY Casting, Prop Design by Kristie Moschetta, Stage Management by T.J. Kearney, Assistant Production Stage Manager is Leila Scandar

Starring Richard Todd Adams (Engeman Theater: Jekyll & Hyde (2007); Broadway: The Woman in White, The Pirate Queen, Cats; National Tours: Les Miserables, The Phantom of the Opera), Janet Dacal (Broadway: In The Heights, Wonderland, Prince Of Broadway; Regional: The Sting) and Carlos Lopez (Broadway: Man of La Mancha, Grease, Annie Get Your Gun, Wonderful Town, A Chorus Line; TV/Film: The Sopranos, Law and Order, Guiding Light, All Fired Up, What Would You Do?, Brooklyn Sonnet, Stepford Wives, Death Wishes, Late Phases)

With Enrique Cruz DeJesus, Juan Luis Espinal, Diego Gonzalez, Garfield Hammonds, Deven Kolluri, Steven Liberto, Phyllis L. March, Nora Moutrane, Cody Mowrey, Joshua Wayne Oxyer, Nandita Shenoy, Bruce Winant, and Morgan Anita Wood

Photo By Michael DeCristofaro

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