Dreams, bravery center stage with performance of ‘Man of La Mancha’ at Grand Opera House

February 21, 2014 

"Man of LaMancha" has been entertaining audiences for more than half a century and takes over Macon’s Grand Opera House for two performances.

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Fans of Don Quixote will no longer have to dream the impossible dream of seeing the classic tale on stage. The musical “Man of La Mancha” will hit the stage at the Grand Opera House on Saturday and Sunday.

“ ‘Man of La Mancha’ is a show that we really think will appeal to people who love classic Broadway,” said Cindy Hill, arts marketing coordinator for the Grand. “We usually try to book a classic musical, but people are crazy about this musical. The music is memorable and exciting, and we are very happy to see how many young people are excited about this show.”

Part of the Grand’s Broadway Series, Hill said “Man of La Mancha” is a classic because it has enchanted audiences for more than 50 years.

“The tale of Don Quixote catches the imagination of dreamers of all ages. This romantic musical has some of the most beautiful, inspiring songs ever sung on Broadway. The relationships between Quixote and the ethereal Dulcinea and he and his sidekick, Sancho Panza, are classic love stories, beautifully and engagingly told,” she said.

The original Broadway production ran for six years and won five Tony Awards.

“The music is what makes this production so memorable. People will be humming and singing along for days after they see it,” she said. “But really, I love the inspirational message of the show. As a society, we often dismiss dreamers and their ideas, but dreams are what America is built on. Some of our greatest leaders, thinkers, educators, artists and inventors were people who dared to dream impossible dreams and let their visions carry all of us forward. I think this show is a reminder that dreams can be the birthplace of incredible opportunities.”

“Man of La Mancha” is a play-within-a-play based on Miguel de Cervantes’s novel “Don Quixote.” According to a news release, “we have a poignant story of a dying old man whose ‘impossible dream’ takes over his mind. Against all odds, a man sees good and innocence in a world filled with darkness and despair. Enter the mind and the world of Don Quixote as he pursues his quest for the impossible dream.”

In the story, Cervantes is thrown into a dungeon in Seville to await trial for an offense against the church, but first he must face a kangaroo court of his fellow prisoners who propose to steal his meager possessions, including the unfinished manuscript of a novel called “Don Quixote.”

Cervantes, seeking to save it, proposes a form of an entertainment. Cervantes and his faithful manservant transform themselves into Don Quixote and Sancho Panza. They proceed to play out the story with the participation of the prisoners as other characters.

“The entire show is just a delight,” Hill said. “We really think that our audiences will love it and we can’t wait to see everyone come out and have a fantastic time.”

“Man of La Mancha”

When: 7:30 p.m. Feb. 22 and 2:30 p.m. Feb. 23

Where: Grand Opera House, 651 Mulberry St.

Cost: $40-$46

Information: 478-301-5470, www.thegrandmacon.com

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