For four hundred years the story of Don Quixote has underlined the message of never giving up and taught people to keep fighting, keep hope and most of all, to never stop dreaming. It is a beautiful message that is expressed wonderfully in the language of music and dance. This tour gives a chance to people to catch this wonderful classic off Broadway, near their hometowns, but with the same quality.
The story of Man of La Mancha is inspired by Miguel de Cervantes’ seventeenth century masterpiece Don Quixote. The Spanish novel is considered one of the greatest works of literature ever written and inspired Dale Wasserman to write a teleplay, “I, Don Quixote” in 1959. Wasserman later adapted the teleplay into the book for the musical. The lyrics for the musical were penned down by Joe Darion, while the music was composed by Mitch Leigh.
The musical first opened at the Godspeed Opera House in 1965, and made its Broadway debut on March 20th, 1968. It gained critical appreciation and became a huge commercial success, running for a staggering 2,239 performances in New York. The musical won Tony Awards for Best Score, Best Scenic Design and Best Musical, whereas director Albert Marre won for Best Direction and Richard Kelley won for leading actor.
The musical could be described as a comic tragedy, which portrays man’s struggle to better the world he lives in and to better himself eventually. The protagonist, Don Quixote is an eccentric idealist in a greedy, hostile and cynical world, which makes him come across as a fool sometimes, since the world does not live up to his ideals. But the audience knows that his intentions are pure and feels for him as he goes ahead with his futile, self imposed crusade.
The language of music portrays the emotional content in such a way that it is able to move any audience member. The musical contains perhaps one of the most moving scenes in theater, as the audience sees Don Quixote explaining his personal credo in “The Impossible Dream”.
The musical is both inspiring and thought provoking and the story is very moving and entertaining at the same time. This is a theatrical experience that will lift your spirits and perhaps help you face your problems with renewed vigor.