WESTON, Vt. – The Weston Playhouse Theatre Company launches its 80th anniversary season with an epic musical adventure. Man of La Mancha begins performances on June 28 with all of the fanfare one would expect from Vermont’s longest-running professional theatre company. A bold and charismatic cast comes together with a renowned creative team to present Cervantes’ legendary tale on the company’s historic MainStage.
Carried by Mitch Leigh’s iconic score, with favorite songs like “The Impossible Dream” and “Dulcinea,” the musical is a play-within-a-play. Author Miguel de Cervantes stands ready to face trial by the Spanish Inquisition. When robbed of his beloved manuscript, he attempts to prove its merit through a reenactment of its story, enlisting other prisoners to play the characters in his play. And so begins the timeless story of Don Quixote and his quest.
Man of LaMancha opened in 1965 and won five Tony Awards, including Best Musical. A film version, starring Peter O’Toole and Sophia Loren followed in 1972. The show was revived four times on Broadway, making it one of musical theatre’s most enduring works. Weston’s production features a cast that includes top talent from Broadway and the country’s major regional theatres. Geoffrey Wade (Broadway’s Crazy For You, Weston’s Educating Rita and As You Like It) stars as Cervantes/Don Quixote. He is joined by Marissa McGowan (Broadway’s Les Miserables and Weston’s Guys and Dolls), Michael Mendez (Broadway’s Chaplin, Weston’s Peter and the Starcatcher) and an ensemble of Weston favorites.
The production is directed by Tim Fort (a Weston Founding Director, whose credits include last year’s season opener, Pump Boys and Dinettes, and such blockbusters as 42nd Street and Les Miserables). Fort describes Man of LaMancha as “inspirational, exciting, musically beautiful – an impossible dream of a show” and finds it “particularly appropriate to be working with a company of such talented old friends” as the Company celebrates its big anniversary.
The creative team includes a roster of all-stars from Music Director Daniel Feyer (Musical Director at San Francisco’s American Conservatory Theater) to Choreographer Angelo Fraboni (whose Broadway appearances include The Full Monty, Victor/Victoria, and Cats). Scenic Designer Jim Sandefur (Broadway’s Fences and Weston’s A Chorus Line), Costume Designer Kirche Leigh Zeile (Weston’s Saint-Ex and Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike), Lighting Designer Travis McHale (12 Weston seasons and Associate Lighting Designer for Broadway’s Something Rotten), Sound designer Ed Chapman, and Production Stage Manager Martin Lechner round out the team.
Man of LaMancha runs June 28 – July 16 at the Weston Playhouse on the Village Green (12 Park Street in Weston). Show Times are Tuesday – Saturday at 7:30 p.m, Wednesday and Saturday at 2 p.m, and Sunday at 3 p.m. Two hours without intermission. Pre-show dinner is available at the West Town Eatery, located downstairs at the playhouse. The post-show cabaret is well worth the $12 admission, Yankee Magazine’s 2014 Editor’s Choice for “Best Place for a Nightcap.” Reservations for the show, dinner, and cabaret can be made by calling 802-824-5288 or by visiting westonplayhouse.org.