Photo Flash: Actors' NET's MAN OF LA MANCHA Opens Tonight

The acclaimed Broadway musical Man of La Mancha returns to the stage in Morrisville tonight, Sept. 20 - Oct. 6 as the Actors' NET of Bucks County's launches its 18th season. Scroll down for a first look at the stars onstage!

First presented by Actors' NET in 1999 as the premiere production at The Heritage Center Theatre, the show features veteran actors C. Jameson Bradley and Joe Doyle returning to their heralded roles as Don Quixote and Sancho Panza, which they performed in the company's three previous offerings of this musical.

NET Co-founder and Artistic Director Cheryl Doyle directs a cast of seasoned performers. Vicky Czarnik costars, essaying the challenging role of Aldonza - a downtrodden wench who is transformed during the play-within-a play into a confident and inspired woman.

"Jamie and Joe have perfected their roles, each having also performed them elsewhere. Vicky's portrayal of Aldonza is a revelation," Ms. Doyle noted. "Her terrific voice and multi-layered interpretation are inspiring Jamie and Joe to reach new heights in their performances as well."

"We'd planned to open our season with a different musical, but when the rights to it fell through, we realized this is the perfect time to revisit Man of La Mancha," she said. "We live in a tumultuous time. Decades of war have instilled cynicism and distrust into so many. The show's brilliant book by Dale Wasserman, lyrics by Joe Darion and music by Mitch Leigh bring inspiration and joy to the darkness of a Spanish prison, and into our lives as well."

The show depicts author Miguel de Cervantes, who's been called before the 17th Century's Spanish Inquisition. Fellow prisoners threaten to destroy Cervantes' nearly completed manuscript of Don Quixote until he and his manservant enlist the captives to join them in acting out the story he's been writing. The tale begins to win over the prisoners, whose despair turns into hope, all finally singing the show's signature song, "The Impossible Dream."

Costars also include Steve Lobis as "the Governor," the ruffian who rules over the other prisoners; DeLarme Landes as "the Duke" - an arrogant prisoner whom Cervantes casts as villain in his play; Amanda Hecht as "Antonia"; Marie Maginity as "the Housekeeper" Marco Newton as "the Barber"; and Michael Niederer as "the Padre."

"We're fortunate to have landed Michael Niederer as the Padre," Ms. Doyle stated. "As a teen, he was brilliant in past NET productions, such as Dark of the Moon and Something's Afoot. Now he's amassing professional credits and is destined soon to be a full-fledged member of Actors' Equity. He's also doing double duty as our show's director of stage combat -- creating an onstage fight scene that is both exciting and hilarious."

Rounding out the cast are (alphabetically): Kelly Allen (who also stage manages), Matthew Cassidy, Barry Clements, Brenda Clements, Thomas Elijah Davis, Isaiah Davis, Michael O'Hara, Ed Patton, Hayley Rubins-Topoleski, Maryalice Rubins-Topoleski (who also choreographs), John Russell, Sanjay Sharma, Mark Versprille, John Wishnie, and Ivy Lynne Zadnik. Pat Masterson is music director, accompanying and conducting a live orchestra. Lighting design is by Andrena Wishnie.

Man of La Mancha is presented through special arrangement with Tams-Witmark Music Library, Inc. The Heritage Center Theatre is located at 635 N. Delmorr Avenue (Route 32), Morrisville - near the Calhoun Street Bridge.

Show times all three weeks are Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. Also, there are Thursday performances at 8 p.m. on Sept. 26 and Oct. 2, plus a special Saturday Oct. 5 matinee at 2 p.m. Admission is $20 for adults, $17 for seniors (62+), $15 for WHYY card members, and $10 for children age 12 and younger. Parental discretion is advised. To reserve, phone 215-295-3694 or email actorsnet@aol.com. The company's website is www.actorsnetbucks.org.

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C. Jameson Bradley as Don Quixote


Joe Doyle as Sancho


C. Jameson Bradley (left) as Don Quixote and Steve Lobis as the Innkeeper


Foreground: C. Jameson Bradley as Cervantes/Don Quixote (left) and Joe Doyle as The Manservant/Sancho; Background, left to right, Matthew Cassidy, John Russell, Amanda Hecht.


Michael Niederer, C. Jameson Bradley, Joe Doyle, Marco Newton, Sanjay Sharma.


Michael Oâ€Hara as The Mule, Joe Doyle as Sancho Panza, Ivy Lynne Zadnik as The Horse, and C. Jameson Bradley as Don Quixote.


C. Jameson Bradley as Don Quixote.


C. Jameson Bradley as Don Quixote and Vicky Czarnik as Aldonza.

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