The Impossible Dream: Man of La Mancha returns to Westchester

Published: Friday, March 18, 2016 By: Irene Wallace Source: I On The Valley

The masterful Broadway classic Man of La Mancha has returned to the stage here in Westchester. This beautifully staged production at the Westchester Broadway Theater is Broadway quality and should not be missed!

Man of La Mancha is a musical inspired by the story of Miguel de Cervantes imprisonment during the Spanish Inquisition and is also inspired by his book Don Quixote written in 1615. The musical adaptation places Cervantes in a dungeon prison awaiting his hearing for charges brought against him by the inquisition. Cervantes is a self described poet and play wright  as well as a tax collector. His latter position and his act of taxing a church has placed him in prison. His fellow prisoners upon meeting Cervantes and his loyal sidekick decide to have their own “mock trial” and seize his manuscript.

Cervantes demands the opportunity to defend himself and using his skills as an actor and a trunk full of costumes and props, he launches into a virtual “play within the play”. Along with his sidekick Sancho, the other prisoners become part of this story woven by Cervantes. Cervantes spins the tale of a noble knight on a noble quest, and he becomes Don Quixote, Man of La Mancha. Despite living in an era of fear and despair, Quixote is a dreamer. He dreams of a world where knights still roam spreading virtue and morals, performing noble quests and coming to the aid of their Lady.
Quixote is a idealist and a dreamer and the audience (as it has been since its Broadway debut in the 1960s) becomes a fan of Quixote. His idealism for a simpler and kinder world is in stark contrast to the reality of 16th Century Spain. Indeed his spirit and ideals in the face of grim reality  are what attract so many current audience members .

His idealism is manifested brilliantly in the song “The Impossible Dream” which is the hallmark of the performance.

This production at the Westchester Broadway Theater is Broadway quality. Directed by David Wasson (who worked on the first Broadway revival) , it stars Paul Schoeffler as Cervantes/Quixote. He is brilliant especially in the role of the mad knight Quixote and his deep vocals do justice to the music. He has starred on Broadway in Rock of Ages, Sweet Charity, Hook and others. Michelle Dawson is wonderful as Quixote’s lady Dulcinea and her vibrant vocal performance is memorable. The rest of the cast does a great job in bringing the performance to life .

Special note should be given to the Set and costume designers Michael Bottari and Ronald Case and the wonderful lighting design by Andrew Gmoser.
Man Of La Mancha runs to May 1, 2016. Do not miss this Broadway classic. Dinner is included with your ticket price and you dine prior to the performance.