Playbill cover for Man of La Mancha in 1965.
The first United States combat troops arrive in Vietnam. Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and many others are arrested in Alabama following demonstrations opposing voter-registration rules. The Grammy Awards distinguish composer Jerry Herman's "Hello, Dolly!" as Song of the Year while music fans mourn the loss of composer and singer Nat "King" Cole. The Los Angeles Dodgers win their third World Series since moving from Brooklyn. And a blackout, one November evening, wipes out power for the entire northeastern United States. It is 1965. On Broadway, last season's Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize winner The Subject Was Roses by Frank D. Gilroy stills plays as does Tony-winning musical Fiddler on the Roof. A Detroit family by the name of Nederlander purchases the current movie house Palace Theatre (soon to be home to a new musical Sweet Charity.) A return engagement of Oliver! plays at the Martin Beck earlier in the year, while new shows like Burton Lane and Alan Jay Lerner's On a Clear Day You Can See Forever and Neil Simon's The Odd Couple starring Art Carney and Walter Matthau are "on the boards."
The title page in the Man of La Mancha Playbill.
The special note on Miguel de Cervantes in the Playbill.
Ads for the cast album of Funny Girl and Barbra Streisand records.
Selections from the "Theatre Talk" quotes feature.
Botto added "Originally, it was written [in 1959] as a television play called 'I, Don Quixote' and Lee J. Cobb played Don Quixote. Then they told Dale Wasserman to turn it into a musical." The show's downtown location kept initial audiences from venturing to see the show. Botto explained "At first, it was not a box office hit because the theatre was really out of the way. But, word of mouth sold the show. José Ferrer succeeded Richard Kiley and also John Cullum."
Man of La Mancha lived "The Impossible Dream" taking home Tony Awards for actor Richard Kiley, director Albert Marre, the composer-lyricist team of Mitch Leigh and Joe Darion and for scenic designer Howard Bay as well as the year top prize Best Musical. Such notable actors as Raúl Julia, Peter O'Toole and Brian Stokes Mitchell — in the current Broadway revival — will tackle the title role in future versions of the musical.