MAN OF LA MANCHA
"Adventurous theater in Astoria"

-- The New York Times

Man of La Mancha

Book by Dale Wasserman
Music by Mitch Leigh
Lyrics by Joe Darion

 May 2020

Synopsis

A waiting room with no clocks. People with no timeline. The classic tale of two impossible dreamers held for an unknown crime on trial for their very lives. Inspired by Miguel de Cervantes’ 17th-century masterpiece Don Quixote, Man of La Mancha is as passionate as it is heartbreaking, and reminds us all of the power of perseverance and hope.

Production History

Man of La Mancha is adapted from bookwriter Dale Wasserman’s 1959 teleplay I, Don Quixote, which was inspired by Miguel de Cervantes’ 17th-century classic Don Quixote. The show premiered in 1965 at Goodspeed Opera House and made its premiere in New York later that year. It won five Tony Awards in 1966 including for Best Musical. The original production ran for 2,328 performances, a London production followed in 1968, and the film in 1972 starred Peter O’Toole and Sophia Loren. Man of La Mancha has been revived four times on Broadway—most recently in 2002 with Brian Stokes Mitchell in the title role—and has played around the world and in at least eighteen different languages.

About the Writers

Joe Darion (Lyrics) was an eclectic lyricist with numerous top ten successes in the early 1950s. His first Broadway show was a collaboration with Mel Brooks called Shinbone Alley in 1957. His next was Man of La Mancha followed by Illya Darling. Darion also contributed English commentaries for the Yiddish musical play, The Megilla Of Itzik Manger and, in addition to his pop and Broadway work, Darion also wrote librettos for oratorios and cantatas.

Mitch Leigh (Music) was a composer, producer, and director from Brooklyn. Best known as the Tony Award-winning composer of Man of La Mancha, he was also nominated for a Tony Award for directing Yul Brynner’s farewell tour of The King and I, which he also produced. He studied with Paul Hindemith at Yale School of Music, from which he received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees, and he was the first recipient of the Yale Arts Awards for Outstanding Achievement in Musical Composition.

Dale Wasserman (Book) wrote for theater, television, and film for more than 50 years and is best known for the musical Man of La Mancha and the play One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, based on Ken Kesey’s novel. Both shows continue to be produced nationally and internationally with an estimated 300 productions a year.

 

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