Man of La Mancha
|Man of La Mancha|
|Basis||I, Don Quixote (teleplay) by Dale Wasserman and Don Quixote (novel) by Miguel de Cervantes|
|Productions||1964 Goodspeed Opera House
1972 Broadway revival
1977 Broadway revival
1992 Broadway revival
2002 Broadway revival
|Awards||Tony 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.
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.
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.
- 1 History
- 2 Productions
- 3 Synopsis
- 4 Musical numbers
- 5 Foreign language stage adaptations
- 6 Awards and nominations
- 7 References
- 8 Bibliography
- 9 External links
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. 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.
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. 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.
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.
The play has been revived on Broadway four times:
- 1972 - with Richard Kiley as Cervantes/Quixote, running for 140 performances
- 1977 - with Richard Kiley as Cervantes/Quixote, Tony Martinez as Sancho Panza and Emily Yancy as Aldonza/Dulcinea, running for 124 performances
- 1992 - with Raúl Juliá as Cervantes/Quixote and Sheena Easton as Aldonza/Dulcinea, running for 108 performances. Easton was replaced, late in the run, by Joan Diener.
- 2002 - with Brian Stokes Mitchell as Cervantes/Quixote, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio as Aldonza/Dulcinea, and Ernie Sabella as Sancho Panza, running for 304 performances; Marin Mazzie took over as Aldonza (Dulcinea) on July 1, 2003.
The first non-professional production opened in 1970 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.
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. 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.
- "Man of La Mancha" - Don Quixote, Sancho
- "Food, Wine, Aldonza!" - Muleteers
- "It's All the Same" - Aldonza
- "Dulcinea" - Don Quixote
- "I'm Only Thinking of Him" - Antonia, Padre, Housekeeper
- "We're Only Thinking of Him" - Antonia, Carasco, Padre, Housekeeper
- "The Missive" - Sancho
- "I Really Like Him" - Sancho
- "What Does He Want of Me?" - Aldonza
- "Little Bird, Little Bird" - Muleteers
- "Barber's song" - Barber
- "Golden Helmet of Mambrino" - Don Quixote, Sancho & Barber
- "To Each His Dulcinea" - Padre
- "The Impossible Dream" - Don Quixote
- "The Combat (instrumental)" - orchestra
- "The Dubbing" - Innkeeper, Aldonza & Sancho
- "Little Bird, Little Bird (reprise)" leading into an instrumental entitled...
- "The Abduction" - Muleteers
- "The Impossible Dream (reprise)" - Don Quixote
- "Man of La Mancha (reprise)" - Don Quixote
- "Moorish Dance (instrumental)" - Moors
- "Aldonza" - Aldonza
- "Knight of the Mirrors (choreographed instrumental sequence)" - orchestra
- "A Little Gossip" - Sancho
- "Dulcinea (reprise)" - Aldonza
- "The Impossible Dream (reprise)" - Aldonza & Don Quixote
- "Man of La Mancha (reprise)" - Don Quixote, Aldonza & Sancho
- "The Psalm" - Padre
- "Finale Ultimo: The Impossible Dream (reprise)" - Company
Foreign language stage adaptations
- A Bulgarian adaptation for television (Bulgarian: Човекът от Ла Манча / Chovekat ot La Mancha) was released in 1968 directed by Asen Trayanov, starring Kosta Tsonev, Nikola Anastasov, Grigor Vachkov, Konstantin Kotsev, Vasil Mihaylov and Tatyana Lolova.
- A Bulgarian stage adaptation was realized directed by Grisha Ostrovski.
- A French adaptation premiered at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées on December 11, 1968. Belgian singer-songwriter Jacques Brel translated the songs and played the lead (the only time he ever adapted songs written by other writers or appeared in a stage musical). Joan Diener reprised her role as Aldonza (this time singing in French).
- Another French version based on Brel's translation was produced in Liège in 1998 and 1999 with José van Dam in the lead role.
- on March 2012, French baritone David Serero performed the lead of role of Don Quixote in a new production, produced by himself, in Paris and Deauville.
- The first Spanish production opened in 1966 in Madrid, Spain, starring Nati Mistral as Aldonza. A Cast Album was released by Columbia Records featuring four songs: The Impossible Dream, Dulcinea, Little Bird, and What Do You Want From Me.
- The first Mexican production ran 1969-1970 at Teatro Manolo Fábregas, with Nati Mistral reprising her acclaimed role as Aldonza, Claudio Brook as Quixote/Cervantes, and Oscar Pulido as Sancho. The best-selling Cast Recording was issued by MCA/Decca on LP, and was later re-issued on CD by Honda Music International.
- José Sacristán and Paloma San Basilio starred in an acclaimed Madrid revival, El Hombre de la Mancha, in 1998. A 2-Disc Cast Album was issued by EMI-Odeón, recorded live at Teatro Lope de Vega.
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.
The musical was central to the theme of the Quantum Leap episode "Catch a Falling Star," where Sam Beckett has to literally catch the drunken star of a local production of "Man of La Mancha," as the man falls from the stage set. Musical numbers in costume were featured on the show "Two-and-a-Half Men" to name but a few, where one of the most recorded adult contemporary songs in the history of theatre, "The Impossible Dream", was sung, and which song has been used in many television series and in motion pictures.
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.
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.
Awards and nominations
Original Broadway production
|1966||Tony Award||Best Musical||Won|
|Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical||Richard Kiley||Won|
|Best Direction of a Musical||Albert Marre||Won|
|Best Original Score||Mitch Leigh and Joe Darion||Won|
|Best Choreography||Jack Cole||Nominated|
|Best Scenic Design||Howard Bay||Won|
|Best Costume Design||Howard Bay and Patton Campbell||Nominated|
1977 Broadway revival
|1978||Drama Desk Award||Outstanding Actor in a Musical||Richard Kiley||Nominated|
2002 Broadway revival
|2003||Drama Desk Award||Outstanding Revival of a Musical||Nominated|
|Outstanding Actor in a Musical||Brian Stokes Mitchell||Nominated|
|Tony Award||Best Revival of a Musical||Nominated|
|Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical||Brian Stokes Mitchell||Nominated|
|Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical||Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio||Nominated|
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- Production History of CVLT cvlt.org, retrieved December 06, 2011
- The gypsy scene is omitted in some productions.
- "''Man of La Mancha'' as TV musical on the Bulgarian national television". Bnt.bg. 2011-03-14. Retrieved 2013-01-07.
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- "Musical Plays on the Hebrew Stage". Mfa.gov.il. 1998-07-16. Retrieved 2013-01-07.
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- 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.
- Der Mann von La Mancha (TV 1994) - IMDb
- Wasserman, Dale. The Impossible Musical - The Man of La Mancha Story (2003) Applause Books, New York
- Study guide for Man of La Mancha
- Synopsis, 'Man of La Mancha' at MusicalHeaven.com
- Information about the musical with links to recording and sheet music information
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Man of La Mancha|
- Man of La Mancha at the Internet Broadway Database
- TalkinBroadway review of the 2002 production
- New York Times review of the 2002 production
- Information about the musical from Stageagent.com
- Sony's store info