Man of La Mancha Gallops into Wimberley for Fall Production at the Wimberley Playhouse
Man of La Mancha runs weekends from September 21, 2007 to October 14, 2007 at the Wimberley Playhouse, 450 Old Kyle Road, Wimberley, Texas.

In rehearsal, Lee Coleé aggressively defends herself and Don Quixote from David McCullars and Lee Stubbs in energetic "combat" scene from Man of La Mancha.
Photograph © Jim Gillock 2007
Anyone who has tilted at windmills can identify with the escapades of the noble knight Don Quixote. His brave and captivating story, Man of La Mancha, is the Wimberley Players production from September 21 to October 14, 2007.

This production is directed by LeRoy Nienow, an original member of the Players with 40 years of experience in the performing arts; he also directed the original Players performance of the play in 1983. The producer is Judith Laird, Artistic Director of the Players, most recently seen as Madame Acarti in Blithe Spirit. Calvin White, a frequent Players actor, is Assistant Director and Linda Sriro is Musical Director.

David Bisett, president of the Players, recently seen in Divorce Southern Style, plays Cervantes and Quixote. Lee Coleé, director, actress and singing coach who leads "Summer Camp" at the Playhouse, is Aldonza and Dulcinea. Talented singer, actor and director Nathan Villarreal plays Sancho and Dan Stephens, Minister of Music at First Baptist Church, Wimberley, is Padre Perez. Carol Hoffstad, pianist for St. Stephens Episcopal Church, plays the housekeeper. Many of the 30 actors are cast in double and triple roles.

The Tony Award-winning musical originated on Broadway in 1965. Its setting is the 16th-century Spanish Inquisition. Author and tax collector Miguel de Cervantes has been thrown into a dungeon along with his servant Sancho for an offense against the church. Their rowdy fellow prisoners treat them roughly and subject them to a kangaroo court. His completed manuscript of Don Quixote is at stake. Seeking to save it, he offers a novel defense in the form on an enactment of the story. Donning costumes and makeup from the trunk they have brought into the prison, Cervantes and Sancho proceed to cast their fellow prisoners as players and the story of the legendary Knight of the Woeful Countenance rolls on.

Quixote, a brave but demented man, tries to restore the age of chivalry, battling evil and righting all wrongs. In a roadside inn, which he sees as a castle, he finds the serving girl Aldonza, a part-time prostitute whom he mistakes for his "Dulcinea," the woman of his dreams whom he will serve evermore.

Aldonza cannot understand why Quixote does not see who she really is. He shares his credo in the famous song, The Impossible Dream. Aldonza catches the fever of his idealism but fails to be able to put it into practice.

The play within a play is funny, dramatic and inspirational. It examines some very mature themes, and in the end, it is a story of redemption and hope.

Man of La Mancha was given musical form by Dale Wasserman, playwright; Mitch Leigh, music; and Joe Darion, lyrics. It was originally written by Wasserman as a non-musical play for television but only reached blockbuster status when it became a musical, running on Broadway for seven years.

Man of La Mancha will run weekends from September 21, 2007 to October 14, 2007 at the Playhouse, 450 Old Kyle Road. Performances are 8 on Fridays and Saturdays and 2:30 on Sundays. The opening night reception, September 21st, will begin at 7 PM with wine and hors d'oeuvres in the lobby. An after-show reception follows the performance.

Tickets can be reserved by phone by calling 512-847-0575. Tickets for Wimberley Players productions are available at the theatre box office Monday through Friday from 1 to 5. All tickets are $15 except Opening Night ($20), which features a reception before the show. Visa and Mastercard are accepted.

- Jane Dunham