MAN OF LA MANCHA

BRIEF SYNOPSIS AND CHARACTER DESCRITIONS

BRIEF SYNOPSIS
Man of La Mancha, based on Cervantes’ epic 17th-century novel, Don Quixote, is a remarkable, poignant, moving musical that was one of the first shows to musicalize a piece of historical literature. Set in the context of the Spanish Inquisition, Man of La Mancha is presented as a play-within-a-play. We encounter historical author Miguel de Cervantes in prison, awaiting trial by the Inquisition. When his fellow prisoners try to take Cervantes’ belongings from him, including his manuscript, Cervantes proposes a trial in which he proves the merit of the manuscript through a reenactment, enlisting his fellow prisoners as characters in his play. Together, they tell the story of the aged Alonso Quijana who believes himself to be a knight errant, names himself Don Quixote, and pursues an obsessive quest to attain an impossible dream. Against all odds, Quixote and his trusty squire Sancho Panza take to the road in a quest to chivalry, and seek out the good and innocent in a world filled with darkness and despair. Through the story, all the prisoners – at least for a moment – are transformed. The mad Don Quixote may think a windmill to be a giant and a tavern to be a castle, but along the way he also transforms a wretched woman into a beautiful lady – and proves that an old man’s belief can truly make him a knight. Man of La Mancha features such stirring songs as “Dulcinea” and the now-famous standard, “Quest” – more famously known as “The Impossible Dream.”

CAST OF CHARACTERS

DON QUIXOTE (Cervantes): Tall, thin man in his late forties, he is an actor, playwright, and would-be knight. He is a romantic—some say crazy—and has a vision of a far better and nobler world, where knights and chivalry rule the day. Age range: 30-60. Vocal: Baritone (low B to E ).

SANCHO PANZA (The Manservant): Older than Don Quixote, Sancho is short and squat. He has served Quixote/Cervantes for many years and is devoted to him, even with all his idiosyncrasies. Age range: 25-50. Vocal: Tenor (C to high G ).

ALDONZA (Dulcinea): A serving woman and a part-time prostitute at the inn, Aldonza is rough on the exterior, but has a gentle heart inside and yearns to believe what Don Quixote tells her. Quixote falls in loves with her and insists her name is Dulcinea and that she is a beautiful, gentle woman. Age range: 25-40. Vocal: Soprano (low bA to high bA ).

THE INNKEEPER (The Governor): A large and powerful man, he is kind as the Innkeeper, but as the Governor is the leader of the inmate society in the prison. Age range: 30-60. Vocal: Bass (low G to C# ).

DR. CARRASCO (The Duke): As the character of the Duke he sidekick to the Governor; however, when he plays Dr. Carrasco, he is Antonia's fiancé. He thinks Don Quixote mad and insists that he come home and be treated for his malady. Age range: 30-60. Vocal: Baritone (low C to bD ).

THE PADRE: Vocal: Tenor (F to high G ).

THE BARBER: Comedic role. Vocal: Tenor (D to high G )

ANTONIA: Alonso Quijana's self-centered niece and Dr. Carrasco's fiancée. Age range: 18-35. Vocal: Mezzo (C to high F ).

THE HOUSEKEEPER: Alonso Quijana's strong housekeeper who is full of hope. Vocal: Mezzo (F to high F)

PEDRO: The head muleteer, Pedro is a mean and vicious man, leading an attack on Aldonza. Vocal: Baritone (low D to D ).

ANSELMO: A rough, sturdy muleteer. Vocal: Tenor (A to high F# ).

JOSE: A muleteer.

JUAN: A muleteer PACO: a muleteer TENORIO: A muleteer

THE MOOR: Vocal: Tenor (C to high bB )

MARIA: The Innkeeper's shrewish wife.

FERMINA/GYPSY DANCER: A servant girl. Age range: 18-30.

THE GUITARIST: Must be able to play Flamenco rhythm.

CAPTAIN OF THE INQUISITION: An imposing, cruel man.

GUARDS AND MEN OF THE INQUISITION, MULETEERS.

MAN OF LA MANCHA will be jointly auditioning with Poor Richard’s Players production of YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN.