Man of La Mancha

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Man of La Mancha
Playbill Man of La Mancha.jpg
Original Playbill
MusicMitch Leigh
LyricsJoe Darion
BookDale Wasserman
BasisI, Don Quixote (teleplay) by Dale Wasserman and Don Quixote (novel) by Miguel de Cervantes
Productions1964 Goodspeed Opera House
1965 Broadway
1972 Broadway revival
1972 Film
1977 Broadway revival
1992 Broadway revival
2002 Broadway revival
AwardsTony Award for Best Musical
Tony Award for Best Score
 
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Man of La Mancha
Playbill Man of La Mancha.jpg
Original Playbill
MusicMitch Leigh
LyricsJoe Darion
BookDale Wasserman
BasisI, Don Quixote (teleplay) by Dale Wasserman and Don Quixote (novel) by Miguel de Cervantes
Productions1964 Goodspeed Opera House
1965 Broadway
1972 Broadway revival
1972 Film
1977 Broadway revival
1992 Broadway revival
2002 Broadway revival
AwardsTony Award for Best Musical
Tony Award for Best Score

Man of La Mancha is a musical with a book by Dale Wasserman, lyrics by Joe Darion and music by Mitch Leigh. It is adapted from Wasserman's non-musical 1959 teleplay I, Don Quixote, which was in turn inspired by Miguel de Cervantes's seventeenth century masterpiece Don Quixote. It tells the story of the "mad" knight, Don Quixote, as a play within a play, performed by Cervantes and his fellow prisoners as he awaits a hearing with the Spanish Inquisition.[1]

The original 1965 Broadway production ran for 2,328 performances and won five Tony Awards, including Best Musical. The musical has been revived four times on Broadway, becoming one of the most enduring works of musical theatre.[2]

The principal song, "The Impossible Dream", became a standard. The musical has played in many other countries around the world, with productions in Dutch, French (translation by Jacques Brel), German, Hebrew, Japanese, Korean, Icelandic, Gujarati, Uzbek, Hungarian, Serbian, Slovenian, Swahili, Finnish, Ukrainian and nine distinctly different dialects of the Spanish language.[3]

Man of La Mancha was first performed at the Goodspeed Opera House in Connecticut in 1965,[4] and had its New York premiere on the thrust stage of the ANTA Washington Square Theatre in 1965.[2][5]

History[edit]

Man of La Mancha started as a non-musical teleplay written by Dale Wasserman for CBS's DuPont Show of the Month program. This original telecast starred Lee J. Cobb, Colleen Dewhurst (who replaced Viveca Lindfors), and Eli Wallach, and was not performed on a thrust stage, but on a television sound stage. The DuPont Corporation disliked the title Man of La Mancha, thinking that its viewing audience would not know what La Mancha actually meant, so a new title, I, Don Quixote, was chosen. The play was broadcast live on November 9, 1959, with an estimated audience of 20 million.[6]

Years after this television broadcast, and after the original teleplay had been unsuccessfully optioned as a non-musical Broadway play, director Albert Marre called Wasserman and suggested that he turn his play into a musical. Mitch Leigh was selected as composer, with orchestrations by Carlyle W. Hall. Unusually for the time, the show was scored for an orchestra with no stringed instruments apart from a double bass, instead making heavier use of brass, woodwinds, percussion and flamenco guitars.[7]

The original lyricist of the musical was poet W. H. Auden, but his lyrics were discarded, some of them considered too overtly satiric and biting, attacking the bourgeois audience at times. Auden's lyrics were replaced by those of Joe Darion.[8]

Productions[edit]

The musical first played at the Goodspeed Opera House in Connecticut in 1965. Rex Harrison was to be the original star of this production, but although Harrison had starred in a musical role in the stage and film versions of My Fair Lady, the musical demands of the role of Don Quixote were too heavy for him. After 21 previews, the musical opened at the ANTA Washington Square Theatre in Greenwich Village on November 22, 1965, then moved to Broadway at the Martin Beck Theatre on March 20, 1968, then to the Eden Theatre on March 3, 1971, and finally to the Mark Hellinger Theatre on May 26, 1971 for its last month, a total original New York run of 2,329 performances. Musical staging and direction were by Albert Marre, choreography was by Jack Cole, and Howard Bay was the scenic and lighting designer, with costumes by Bay and Patton Campbell.[2]

Richard Kiley won a Tony Award for his performance as Cervantes/Quixote in the original production, and it made Kiley a bona fide Broadway star.[9] Kiley was replaced in the original Broadway run by, first, Jose Ferrer on Broadway and in the 1968 National Tour, and then, operatic baritone David Atkinson. He also performed Cervantes and Quixote in the 1968 National Tour and for all of the matinee performances in the 1972 Broadway revival which also starred Kiley.[10]

The original cast also included Irving Jacobson (Sancho), Ray Middleton (Innkeeper), Robert Rounseville (The Padre), and Joan Diener (Aldonza). John Cullum, Hal Holbrook, and Lloyd Bridges also played Cervantes and Don Quixote during the run of the production.[2] Keith Andes also played the role.

The musical was performed on a single set that suggested a dungeon. All changes in location were created by alterations in the lighting, by the use of props supposedly lying around the floor of the dungeon, and by reliance on the audience's imagination. More recent productions, however, have added more scenery.[11][12]

The original West End London production was at the Piccadilly Theatre, opening on April 24, 1968 and running for 253 performances. Keith Michell starred, with Joan Diener reprising her original role and Bernard Spear as Sancho.[13][14][15]

The play has been revived on Broadway four times:[2]

In the film Man of La Mancha (1972), the title role went to Peter O'Toole (singing voice dubbed by Simon Gilbert), James Coco was Sancho, and Sophia Loren was Aldonza.[16]

Hal Linden played Quixote in the show's 1988 U.S. National tour,[17] and Robert Goulet played Quixote in the 1997–98 U.S. National tour.[18]

The first non-professional production opened in 1970[19] at Chagrin Valley Little Theatre near Cleveland, Ohio. The circumstances of its community theater debut were serendipitous: CVLT members Don Edelman and Frank Mularo were sight-seeing near the Tams-Witmark offices in New York City and impulsively walked in to inquire about newly available scripts they might consider for production at the theater. Although the performance rights for Man of La Mancha were not yet being offered to the public, the date for the release had already been set, and so the two were offered a license to premiere the show on the same day that it would be announced as available. The 20-performance run played to 93% paid capacity (with the remaining tickets being used as complimentary) – a sales record which remains unbroken at the theater.

Synopsis[edit]

It is the late sixteenth century. Failed author-soldier-actor and tax collector Miguel de Cervantes has been thrown into a dungeon by the Spanish Inquisition, along with his manservant. They have been charged with foreclosing on a monastery. The two have brought all their possessions with them into the dungeon. There, they are attacked by their fellow prisoners, who instantly set up a mock trial. If Cervantes is found guilty, he will have to hand over all his possessions. Cervantes agrees to do so, except for a precious manuscript which the prisoners are all too eager to burn. He asks to be allowed to offer a defense, and the defense will be a play, acted out by him and all the prisoners. The "judge", a sympathetic criminal called "the Governor", agrees.

Cervantes takes out a makeup kit from his trunk, and the manservant helps him get into a costume. In a few short moments, Cervantes has transformed himself into Alonso Quijana, an old gentleman who has read so many books of chivalry and thought so much about injustice that he has lost his mind and now believes that he should go forth as a knight-errant. Quijana renames himself Don Quixote de La Mancha, and sets out to find adventures with his "squire", Sancho Panza. They both sing the title song Man of La Mancha (I, Don Quixote).

Don Quixote warns Sancho that the pair are always in danger of being attacked by Quixote's mortal enemy, an evil magician known as the Enchanter. Suddenly he spots a windmill. Seeing its sails whirling, he mistakes it for a four-armed giant, attacks it, and receives a beating from the encounter. He thinks he knows why he has been defeated – it is because he has not been properly dubbed a knight. Looking off, he imagines he sees a castle (it is really a rundown roadside inn). He orders Sancho to announce their arrival by blowing his bugle, and the two proceed to the inn.

Cervantes talks some prisoners into assuming the roles of the inn's serving wench and part-time prostitute Aldonza and a group of muleteers, who are propositioning her. Fending them off sarcastically (It's All The Same), she eventually deigns to accept their leader, Pedro, who pays in advance.

Don Quixote enters with Sancho, upset at not having been "announced" by a "dwarf". The Innkeeper (played by The Governor) treats them sympathetically and humors Don Quixote, but when Quixote catches sight of Aldonza, he believes her to be the lady Dulcinea, to whom he has sworn eternal loyalty. He sings Dulcinea. Aldonza, used to being roughly handled, is flabbergasted, then annoyed, at Quixote's strange and kind treatment of her. (There is another serving girl, Fermina, but she has almost no dialogue and very little to do in the play.)

Meanwhile, Antonia, Don Quixote's niece, has gone with Quixote's housekeeper to seek advice from the local priest. But the priest wisely realizes that the two women are more concerned with the embarrassment the knight's madness may bring than with his welfare. The three sing I'm Only Thinking of Him.

The mock-trial's prosecutor, a cynic called "The Duke", is chosen by Cervantes to play Dr. Sanson Carrasco, Antonia's fiancé, a man just as cynical and self-centered as the prisoner who is playing him. Carrasco is upset at the idea of having a madman in his prospective new family but the padre cleverly convinces him that it would be a challenge worthy of his abilities to cure his prospective uncle-in-law, so he and the priest set out to bring Don Quixote back home (I'm Only Thinking of Him [Reprise]).

Back at the inn, Sancho delivers a missive from Don Quixote to Aldonza courting her favor and asking for a token. Instead, Aldonza tosses an old dishrag at Sancho, but to Don Quixote the dishrag is a silken scarf. When Aldonza asks Sancho why he follows Quixote, he sings I Really Like Him. Alone, later, Aldonza sings What Do You Want of Me? In the courtyard, the muleteers once again taunt her with the suggestive song Little Bird, Little Bird. Pedro makes arrangements with Aldonza for an assignation later.

The priest and Dr. Carrasco arrive, but cannot reason with Don Quixote, who suddenly spots a barber wearing his shaving basin on his head to ward off the sun's heat (The Barber's Song). Quixote immediately snatches the basin from the barber at sword's point, believing it to be the miraculous Golden Helmet of Mambrino, which will make him invulnerable. Dr. Carrasco and the priest leave, with the priest impressed by Don Quixote's view of life and wondering if curing him is really worthwhile (To Each His Dulcinea).

Meanwhile, Quixote asks the Innkeeper to dub him knight. The innkeeper agrees, but first Quixote must stand vigil all night over his armor. Quixote asks to be guided to the "chapel" for his vigil, and the Inkeeper hastily concocts an excuse: the "chapel" is "being repaired". Quixote decides to keep his vigil in the courtyard. As he does so, Aldonza, on her way to her rendezvous with Pedro, finally confronts him, but Quixote gently explains why he behaves the way he does (The Impossible Dream). Pedro enters, furious at being kept waiting, and slaps Aldonza. Enraged, Don Quixote takes him and all the other muleteers on in a huge fight, as the orchestra plays The Combat. Don Quixote has no martial skill, but by luck and determination – and with the help of Aldonza (who now sympathizes with Quixote) and Sancho – he prevails, and the muleteers are all knocked unconscious. But the noise has awakened the Innkeeper, who enters and kindly tells Quixote that he must leave. Quixote apologizes for the trouble, but reminds the Innkeeper of his promise to dub him knight. The Innkeeper does so (Knight of the Woeful Countenance).

Quixote then announces he must try to help the muleteers. Aldonza, whom Quixote still calls Dulcinea, is shocked, but after the knight explains that the laws of chivalry demand that he succor a fallen enemy, Aldonza agrees to help them. For her efforts, she is beaten, raped, and carried off by the muleteers, who leave the inn (The Abduction). Quixote, in his small room, is blissfully ruminating over his recent victory and the new title that the innkeeper has given him – and completely unaware of what has just happened to Aldonza (The Impossible Dream – first reprise).

At this point, the Don Quixote play is brutally interrupted when the Inquisition enters the dungeon and drags off an unwilling prisoner to be tried. The Duke taunts Cervantes for his look of fear, and accuses him of not facing reality. This prompts a passionate defense of idealism by Cervantes.

The Don Quixote play resumes (Man of La Mancha – first reprise). Quixote and Sancho have left the inn and encounter a band of Gypsies ("Moorish Dance") who take advantage of Quixote's naivete and proceed to steal everything they own, including Quixote's horse Rocinante and Sancho's donkey Dapple. The two are forced to return to the inn.The Innkeeper tries to keep them out, but finally cannot resist letting them back in out of pity.[20] Aldonza shows up with several bruises. Quixote swears to avenge her, but she angrily tells him off, begging him to leave her alone (Aldonza). Suddenly, another knight enters. He announces himself as Don Quixote's mortal enemy, the Enchanter, this time appearing as the "Knight of the Mirrors". He insults Aldonza, and is promptly challenged to combat by Don Quixote. The Knight of the Mirrors and his attendants bear huge shields with mirrors on them, and as they swing them at Quixote (Knight of the Mirrors), the glare from the sunlight blinds him. The attacking Knight taunts him, forcing him to see himself as the world sees him – as a fool and a madman. Don Quixote collapses, weeping. The Knight of the Mirrors removes his own helmet – he is really Dr. Carrasco, returned with his latest plan to cure Quixote.

Cervantes announces that the story is finished at least as far as he has written it, but the prisoners are dissatisfied with the ending. They prepare to burn his manuscript, when he asks for the chance to present one last scene.

The Governor agrees, and we are now in Alonso Quijana's bedroom, where he has fallen into a coma. Antonia, Sancho, the Housekeeper, the priest, and Carrasco are all there. Sancho tries to cheer up Quijana (A Little Gossip). Alonso Quijana eventually awakens, and when questioned, reveals that he is now sane, remembering his knightly career as only a vague dream. He realizes that he is now dying, and asks the priest to help him make out his will. As Quijana begins to dictate, Aldonza forces her way in. She has come to visit Quixote because she has found that she can no longer bear to be anyone but Dulcinea. When he does not recognize her, she sings a reprise of Dulcinea to him and tries to help him remember the words of "The Impossible Dream". Suddenly, he remembers everything and rises from his bed, calling for his armor and sword so that he may set out again. (Man of La Mancha – second reprise) But it is too late – in mid-song, he suddenly cries out and falls dead. The priest sings The Psalm for the dead. However, Aldonza now believes in him so much that, to her, Don Quixote will always live: "A man died. He seemed a good man, but I did not know him ... Don Quixote is not dead. Believe, Sancho ... believe." When Sancho calls her by name, she replies, "My name is Dulcinea."

The Inquisition enters to take Cervantes to his trial, and the prisoners, finding him not guilty, return his manuscript. It is, of course, his (as yet) unfinished novel, Don Quixote de la Mancha. As Cervantes and his servant mount the drawbridge-like staircase to go to their impending trial yet gleaming with courage, the prisoners sing The Impossible Dream in chorus.

Musical numbers[edit]

Foreign language stage adaptations[edit]

Bulgarian[edit]

French[edit]

It was recorded and issued in 1968 as the album L'Homme de la Mancha.[23]

Hebrew[edit]

A Hebrew-language production was produced by Giora Godik in Tel Aviv, Israel, in 1967. [25][26]

Japanese[edit]

A Japanese-language production entitled "The Impossible Dream" was produced in Tokyo, Japan, where Matsumoto Kōshirō IX (as Ichikawa Somegorō VI) took the lead role.[26]

Spanish[edit]

Swedish[edit]

Others[edit]

The musical has been and continues to be produced in many other languages around the world, and in the year 2012 through 2013 will be playing in Germany, Hungary, Czech Republic, Romania, Poland, Dominican Republic, Chile, Russia, and in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, with cast albums available in many languages including Austrian from the 1968 Vienna performance (Der Mann Von La Mancha), the 1969 Dutch cast (De Man Van La Mancha), the 1969 Peruvian cast (El Hombre de La Mancha), the 1969 German-language Hamburg cast (Der Mann Von La Mancha), the 1970 Norwegian cast (Mannen Frå La Mancha), the 1997 Polish cast (Człowiek Z La Manchy), the 1997 Czech cast (Muž Z la Manchy), the 2001 Hungarian cast (La Mancha Lovagja), the 2005 Korean cast, and many others.[26]

An Austrian version of the musical, in German, was presented on Austrian television in 1994, with Karl Merkatz (playing Cervantes and Quixote at the age of sixty-four) and Dagmar Hellberg in the leading roles.[28][unreliable source?]

The musical has the distinction of being produced at Opera Houses in Estonia 2011,12, Toulouse France 2011,and in Monte Carlo France in December 2012. In the year 2013 the musical will be performed professionally in Turkey at the State Opera Houses of Istanbul and Izmir as well as on tour other cities.[citation needed]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Original Broadway production[edit]

YearAward CeremonyCategoryNomineeResult
1966Tony AwardBest MusicalWon
Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a MusicalRichard KileyWon
Best Direction of a MusicalAlbert MarreWon
Best Original ScoreMitch Leigh and Joe DarionWon
Best ChoreographyJack ColeNominated
Best Scenic DesignHoward BayWon
Best Costume DesignHoward Bay and Patton CampbellNominated

1977 Broadway revival[edit]

YearAward CeremonyCategoryNomineeResult
1978Drama Desk AwardOutstanding Actor in a MusicalRichard KileyNominated

2002 Broadway revival[edit]

YearAward CeremonyCategoryNomineeResult
2003Drama Desk AwardOutstanding Revival of a MusicalNominated
Outstanding Actor in a MusicalBrian Stokes MitchellNominated
Tony AwardBest Revival of a MusicalNominated
Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a MusicalBrian Stokes MitchellNominated
Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a MusicalMary Elizabeth MastrantonioNominated

References[edit]

  1. ^ 'Man of La Mancha' synopsis guidetomusicaltheatre.com, retrieved January 27, 2010
  2. ^ a b c d e 'Man of La Mancha' Broadway listings, 1965, 1972, 1977, 1992, and 2002 imdb.com, retrieved January 26, 2010
  3. ^ "La Mancha" history theatre-musical.com, retrieved January 27, 2010
  4. ^ http://www.goodspeed.org/shows-tickets/past-productions>
  5. ^ "The Impossible Musical: The "Man of la Mancha" Story listing and review", amazon.com
  6. ^ Wasserman, Dale. The impossible musical (2003). Hal Leonard Corporation. ISBN 1-55783-515-2, pp. 48–53
  7. ^ Synopsis and song lyrics AllMusicals.com, retrieved January 27, 2010
  8. ^ www.Broadway.tv article "Broadway Hidden Treasures Revealed"[dead link]
  9. ^ Gussow, Mel."Richard Kiley, the Man of La Mancha, Is Dead at 76",The New York Times, March 6, 1999
  10. ^ "Atkinson Rejoins Musical". The New York Times. September 8, 1969. 
  11. ^ Guernsey, Otis L. Curtain times: the New York Theatre, 1965–1987 (1987). Hal Leonard Corporation, ISBN 0-936839-24-4, p. 36
  12. ^ Prideaux, Tom.'Man of La Mancha'Life Magazine, April 8, 1966
  13. ^ 1968 listing guidetomusicaltheatre.com, retrieved January 26, 2010
  14. ^ Green, Stanley. The World of Musical Comedy (1984), Da Capo Press, ISBN 0-306-80207-4, p. 459. Books.google.com. Retrieved 2013-01-07. 
  15. ^ a b Mordden, Ethan. Broadway Babies: The People Who Made the American Musical (1988). Oxford University Press US, ISBN 0-19-505425-3, p. 157. Books.google.com. 1988-06-23. Retrieved 2013-01-07. 
  16. ^ 'Man of La Mancha' movie listing imdb.com, retrieved January 26, 2010
  17. ^ "Listing: 'Man of La Mancha' – stars Hal Linden, July 19–31", Texas Monthly, July 1988
  18. ^ Theater, Orange Coast Performing Arts Center, Through January 5, 'Man of La Mancha', starring Robert Goulet" Orange Coast Magazine, January 1997
  19. ^ Production History of CVLT cvlt.org, retrieved December 06, 2011
  20. ^ The gypsy scene is omitted in some productions.
  21. ^ "Man of La Mancha as TV musical on the Bulgarian national television". Bnt.bg. 2011-03-14. Retrieved 2013-01-07. 
  22. ^ Wasserman, Dale. The Impossible Musical (2003). Hal Leonard Corporation. ISBN 1-55783-515-2, pp. 163-164
  23. ^ 'Man of La Mancha' recording, 1968 French Cast amazon.com, retrieved January 26, 2010
  24. ^ van Dam Biography laphil.com, October 1999, retrieved January 26, 2010
  25. ^ "Musical Plays on the Hebrew Stage". Mfa.gov.il. 1998-07-16. Retrieved 2013-01-07. 
  26. ^ a b c "Man of La Mancha cast albums". Castalbums.org. Retrieved 2013-01-07. 
  27. ^ Poza, JosÉ Alberto Miranda. Anais Do i Congresso Nordestino de Espanhol (date unknown), Editora Universitária UFPE, ISBN 85-7315-504-3, p. 52 (in Spanish). Books.google.com. Retrieved 2013-01-07. 
  28. ^ Der Mann von La Mancha (TV 1994) – IMDb

Bibliography[edit]

External links[edit]