The new production of Man of La Mancha starring Brian Stokes Mitchell will play the Martin Beck Theatre this fall, producer David Stone confirmed. The show is to begin rehearsals in August and try out in Boston and Washington, before opening in New York this December.
The Beck's current tenant, Sweet Smell of Success, recently posted a closing notice for June 15.
Jonathan Kent, the London director behind such Britain-to-Broadway hits as Medea with Diana Rigg and Hamlet with Ralph Fiennes, will be at the helm.
David Stone, Jon B. Platt, John Reid, Sandy Gallin/Susan Gallin & USA Ostar Theatricals will produce. The design team includes sets and costumes by Paul Brown; lighting design by Paul Gallo; and sound design by Tony Meola.
Mitchell was recently seen on Broadway in King Hedley II, and, before that, in Kiss Me, Kate, for which he won a Tony. He also starred in Ragtime. Audra McDonald was offered the role of Dulcinea, but passed due to a commitment to a new television series. 1965's Man of La Mancha brought the world "The Impossible Dream," the durable and widely-known inspirational ballad. The song explained the philosophy of the impoverished, addled Spaniard, Don Quixote, who believed himself to be a knight who would "right the unrightable wrong" and "reach the unreachable star," to say nothing of being "willing to march into hell for a heavenly cause."
The musical, which won a Tony for Best Musical in 1965, was drawn from Miguel Cervantes' 17th-century novel, "Don Quixote," as distilled through a script by Dale Wasserman. The music is by Mitch Leigh, with lyrics by Joe Darion, who died last year. Leigh wrote several songs for the show with the poet W.H. Auden, but they disagreed about aspects of the project, so Darion was enlisted. The show began life at the Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam, CT, and had a smash success for 2,328 performances on Broadway.