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Saturday, March 24, 2012

"Man of La Mancha: A Musical Play"

This is the only image I found of the book cover I read from ..source here.

by Dale Wasserman, Lyrics by Joe Darion, Music by Mitch Leigh, 1966, 92p, rating=4
Source: library

"Winner of the New York Drama Critics Award for Best Musical, 1966
To me the most interesting aspect of the success of Man of La Mancha is the fact that it plows squarely upstream against the prevailing current of philosophy in the theater. That current is best identified by its catch-labels--Theater of the Absurd, Black Comedy, the Theater of Cruelty--which is to say the theater of alienation, of moral anarchy and despair. To the practitioners of those philosophies Man of La Mancha must seem hopelessly naive in its espousal of illusion as man's strongest spiritual need, the most meaningful function of his imagination. But I've no unhappiness about that. "Facts are the enemy of truth," says Cervantes-Don Quixote. And that is precisely what I felt and meant."--Dale Wasserman. (Goodreads)

This is a musical play based on Miguel de Cervante's book Don Quixote.  Mr. Wasserman's interpretation tells the story as a play within a play.  It follows the man, Cervantes, as he awaits a hearing from the Spanish Inquisition.  Cervantes and his co-prisoners act out a play about a half-baked knight, Don Quixote, through his fanciful adventures.

I see this as an interesting introduction to Don Quixote which I look forward to reading for "The Classics Club" I joined.  I just wanted to dip my toes until I get there so I started with this play version.  Moreover, my only qualm about this written play was my lack of imagination to hear and see it in action.  It came as a realization how actors do wonders to telling a story.  Seeing and hearing this play live would have been more meaningful for me.  Hooray for actors!

Now, here's "The Quest" song, aka "The Impossible Dream", that inspired me to look into Don Quixote again (I vaguely recall the story in Junior High).  This is awesome!  I got to get my hands on the full film version and watch it.  Such powerful words.  Enjoy!


  1. Such a long time since I read Don Quixote. Alas I was unable to view your video clip, something about it not being available in this locality.

  2. Oh bummer Tracy! This is such an awesome clip! :(


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