The Man of La Mancha is an awe inspiring show, blending two stories seamlessly with balance in all its technical elements. Throw in a phenomenally talented cast and this one is a must see.
Its led by three performers. Audrey Babcock brings an amazing voice as well as entertainment skills to the stage as main love interest Dulcinea/Aldonza. Don Quixote/Cervantes, played by David Pittsinger, is a similarly energetic force with a strong baritone sound that is nice to listen to. Keith Jameson brings his fabulous tenor and comedic skills to the part of Sancho Panza.
It’s not only the leads that do well. The men’s ensemble sings frequently and well, but also does a series of complex and challenging dance sequences. In addition, the women’s ensemble is present the entire show, and along with a group of supporting actresses helps to hold the story together with their presence and focus.
Even the design of this show itself is excellent. The director, Paul Curran, has a way of taking the heavy beautiful moments and mixing them with fun humor and brevity, making the show feel like a comedy even as audiences mourn a tragic hero.
The costume design was similarly well done. Not only does Court Watson, costume designer, manage to change every single one of the twenty or so members of the ensemble multiple times without anyone leaving the stage, he also coordinates color schemes brilliantly. The clothes are as much a part of the set as the set is the clothing. It’s brilliant! Lastly, the lighting design done by David Martin was downright genius. The stage is warm and cool with light sources from every angle, including below, and it’s all controlled by the actors during the show.
“The Man of La Mancha” is a story of love, honor and integrity in the midst of a story of loss, prejudice and hurt. It’s funny, brilliant, entertaining and beautiful. This show is well designed, well cast and well directed.
Performances will run through Jan. 29, at Capitol Theatre, with one matinee at 2 p.m. on its final day. Opera singers do not sing nightly. Tickets can be purchased here: http://my.usuo.org/single/PSDetail.aspx?psn=15860.