Sunday, March 1, 2009

"Man of La Mancha" - musical review

I'd previously mentioned that we had tickets to see Reprise Theatre Company's production of "Man of La Mancha", starring Brent Spiner. We ended up with pretty good seats, fifth row on the left side aisle. Sometimes side aisle seats can present a view problem, but with the staging of the show, it really wasn't an issue.

Because of problems at dinner, we were afraid we were going to end up being late, but we arrived just a couple minutes before the show started. However, there were already people on the stage in their characters, milling around and such. I'm not sure how long they'd been out there for. Shortly thereafter, the lights dimmed, an announcement was made about turning off celphones, and the show started.

Generally speaking, I enjoyed the show. The story was interesting, and I really liked the intertwined stories of the prison, the events in the life and family of Alonso Quijana, and the adventures encountered by Don Quixote. The show was announced as running 1 hour and 50 minutes, without an intermission, but I didn't notice the time at all. I will say, though, that while I'm glad to have seen this show, the story and show themselves didn't interest me enough so that I would be inclined to see it again, unless there was someone in the show I particularly wanted to see, which was the case this time.

I thought Brent Spiner was quite good as Cervantes/Quijana/Quixote, though I'll admit that I haven't seen him in enough roles to completely divorce him out of my mind from thinking of him as Data or as Brent Spiner himself. I did like the tone with which he sang the songs - my only exposure previously was with his CD many years ago, and that was a stylized format. He was pretty powerful in singing the signature songs of the show.

Julia Migenes played the part of Escalante/Aldonza, and she was really amazing. I loved her voice and her performance as well. She performed for the evening shows while another actress performed during matinees.

Lee Wilkof was also very good as Cervantes' manservant/Sancho. The entire company was actually very good, but those were the performances I specifically wanted to mention.

The show seems to have gotten very good reviews all around. Here's a particularly glowing one from Variety.

The show ends its two-week run on Sunday, March 1, 2009.

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