Quote of the Day: To win or lose does not matter, only that you followed the quest. from Man of La Mancha, written by Dale Wasserman, Music by Mitch Leigh, Lyrics by Joe Darion, on stage now at Theater Latte’ Da  in NE Minneapolis, MN, directed by Peter Rothstein, Music Direction by Denise Prosek.

It truly is an exquisite performance. All the vocals are excellent, especially by the leads, Don Quixote played by Martin Sola (who comes to us from Broadway and many outstanding creds in NYC), Aldonza/Dolcinea played by Meghan Kreidler (a local musical theater star), Paco/the Padra played by Jon-Michael Reese, and a stunning cast of many local artists. This performance produced so many goose-bumpy moments, such an emotional response. As the final song still rang in the rafters, the audience rose to their feet in an exuberant standing ovation. I was wishing they’d go back and sing all the best songs over again. (Wish they had a cast recording)

Martin Sola as Miguel de Cervantes/Don Quixote and Meghan Kreidler as Aldonza/Dolcinea in Man of La Mancha at Theater Latte' Da in Minneapolis, MN. Photo by Allen Weeks

Martin Sola as Miguel de Cervantes/Don Quixote and Meghan Kreidler as Aldonza/Dolcinea in Man of La Mancha at Theater Latte’ Da in Minneapolis, MN. Photo by Allen Weeks

I was not in attendance for media/opening night on September 14, but this show was on my must-see list, especially after I read reviews from other Twin Cities Theater Bloggers (TCTB). I decided to make it part of a Birthday celebration with my friend Patti, so I bought a pair of tickets (Saturday matinee, only $29) and we enjoyed the performance in a packed house. One of my TCTB friends  liked the show so much that she went twice! It was actually my first experience seeing a live stage production of Man of La Mancha at a professional theater. The staging was unique. In the story, Miguel de Cervantes is waiting to be tried by the Spanish Inquisition. On stage at the old Ritz theater (home of Theater Latte’ Da), he is waiting with others at a prison, which could also be a holding place for travelers. They all bring in suitcases, sit on “airport style” chairs, and talk to a security guard behind a window. Everyone waits. 

Man of La Mancha at Theater Latte' Da, through October 22, 2017

Man of La Mancha at Theater Latte’ Da, through October 22, 2017

When Miguel starts to tell his story, the other travelers/prisoners take on the roles. They put on costumes of the more Medieval times, carry in metal pots, walking sticks, whips, masks, and other props to enhance the storytelling. But, of course, it’s the music that evokes the strong emotion, and the singers reach right in and wrench it from you. I really wanted to stand after Martin Sola (Don Quixote) sang “The Impossible Dream.” His “Dulcinea” was sweet cream and butter to my ears, and I couldn’t stop humming the title song “I am I, Don Quixote, Man of La Mancha” all the way home and into the next day (actually, still singing it in my head, now). I think it’s the driving beat and the Spanish guitars that sink right into my soul. Meghan Kreidler (Aldonza/Dolcinea) gives the character depth. She is her own person, although many men try to own her and abuse her. She fights against Don Quixote’s tenderness, and sings “One pair of arms is like another, it’s all the same” with a fierceness. 

You can see this exquisite performance of Man of La Mancha at Theater Latte’ Da through October 22, 2017. The entire creative team has produced a wonderful theatrical experience, from sets and lighting, to each delicious note played and sung. Well done.

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Journaling Prompt: Have you ever seen Man of La Mancha? Do you have a favorite song from this musical? Have you ever had to wait somewhere for an unknown length of time?