Theatre Mirror Reviews - "Man of La Mancha"

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide


"What Happened in Boston, Willie"

entire contents copyright 2002 by Robert Guenthner

"Man of La Mancha"

Reviewed by Robert Guenthner AKA oldgrump


Since Don Gillis and Tony Annicone have already written reviews for this show, I will dispense with the credits and just start talking. I don't know what I can add to their comments. Both are so much better at dissecting a show that I am.

My one major disappointment was the size of the audience. I found it difficult to believe that more people did not attend. The reviews on the show were very good, and the food is excellent.

There is no curtain for the stage, so we could examine the set while eating. The setting is a prison in Spain, late in the 1500's. Stone walls, arched doorways, iron grill work, and a set of steps leading to a second floor landing comprised the set. I enjoyed the way several of the cast came onto the stage and silently milled about, ten or so minutes before the overture.

Speaking about the overture, never have I heard a better sounding dinner theater orchestra. I have taken in quite a few musicals in regular theater that could not equal this one.

If the supporting cast were all poor actors and singers, Michael Mezo would have given me my moneys worth. (He has a rich baritone voice, reminiscent of the original Don Quixote, Richard Kiley. ) This was not the case. the entire cast sang and acted great. Michael's transformation to the older Don was done well. His acting was above reproach. His facial expressions and body language were that of an old man.

The buxom Aldonza [ Kristen Palson ] was superb. At one point in the second act, one of those horrible mind blanks hit her during a song. My heart went out to her, then my estimation of her talents hit the roof. She sang even better after her small glitch. I am very impressed, I want to see her work again in another show. As good as her singing was, her acting was even better. The second act is a demanding one for her part, with some very emotional scenes.

Thomas Epstein as Sancho, the Dons faithful servant and companion looked, acted and sang his role to perfection.

Joe Walsh, the director, and Rachel Peters, musical director, did a magnificent job. I have only seen one equity version of this play, and that was thirty years ago at a theater in the round. If I had paid two, or even three times the price to see this wonderful show it would have been worth every penny. I just wish I could find time to visit here again and see the show one more time. Well, you never can tell, just maybe. In closing, the costumes were very good, not to flashy. The lighting, although a bit dark at times, was very good. This was a large stage, and all of it was used well.

"Man of LaMancha" (5 April - 4 May)
1(401) 723-6060

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide