By Carey Purcell
29 May 2014
|Photo by Michael Cooper|
Directed by Robert McQueen, Man of La Mancha continues through Oct. 11 at Stratford's Avon Theatre.
The cast also includes Matt Alfano as Tenorio, Brigand; Matt Armet as Anselmo; Shane Carty as Governor/Innkeeper; Stephen Cota as Paco, Brigand, Inquisitor Priest; Paul Duncan as Guard; Harry Edison as Guard; Sean Alexander Hauk as Padre; Kayla James as Antonia, Brigand; Galen Johnson as Jose, Brigand; Monique Lund as Housekeeper, Brigand; Ayrin Mackie as Fermina, Brigand Dancer; Marcus Nance as Captain of the Inquisition, Brigand; Cory O'Brien as Pedro, Attendant to the Enchanter; Stephen Patterson as Barber; Kevin Ramessar as Romero; Kimberley Rampersad as Maria; Jason Sermonia as Juan, Brigand, Attendant to the Enchanter; and Shawn Wright as Duke/Dr. Carrasco/Enchanter. Chad McFadden is the swing and Bonnie Jordan is the understudy.
"Man of La Mancha follows the saga of Miguel de Cervantes, playwright, poet and tax collector, who finds himself imprisoned and awaiting trial by the Inquisition," press notes state. "When his fellow prisoners try to confiscate his few possessions, including the uncompleted manuscript of his most famous work, the novel 'Don Quixote,' Cervantes defends his masterpiece by presenting it as a play. Transforming himself into the title character, and recruiting his fiercely loyal manservant along with other inmates to take on various roles, he plays out his sweeping story of a deluded would-be-knight who becomes obsessed by his idealistic belief that the wrongs of the world can be corrected."
"While much of Cervantes' military history is well documented — as a younger man he had been a soldier, injured during battle, captured and enslaved for five years — his full biography is largely a mystery," director McQueen said in a previous statement. "It was Dale Wasserman's dream to delve into that mystery to create a play, an act of the imagination, that drew from Cervantes' theatrical and literary life. Cast from amongst the cut-throats in whose company he currently finds himself, the stories the poet performs are improvised versions of the Don Quixote adventures found within his book. Through the enactment of these adventures, both author and character plumb to the core of life's fundamental questions: Why am I here? What purpose does my life serve? How do I engage significantly in this relatively short time I am given?"
The creative team includes choreographer Marc Kimelman, musical director Franklin Brasz, set designer Douglas Paraschuk, costume designer Dana Osborne, lighting designer Kimberly Purtell, sound designer Peter McBoyle, video and projection designer Sean Nieuwenhuis and fight director John Stead.
For tickets, contact the box office at (800) 567-1600 or visit stratfordfestival.ca.