‘Man of La Mancha’ Rides into Town
Stampley leads strong Rep production
Man of La Mancha has never totally left the world’s stages since its 1965 debut; not bad for a musical largely confined to a dungeon and the fevered brain of its title character and containing really only one truly big song (but, oh, what a song it is!). A modern production has several large hurdles to jump: a stellar main actor to inhabit the very being of Don Quixote, a compelling set design to bring the audience into the time and place and an engaging supporting cast are de rigueur. The Milwaukee Repertory Theater jumps all the hurdles in its new production.
The “big song” of La Mancha is the splendid “The Impossible Dream,” and it needs to be delivered with appropriate bravado and resignation. The Rep has brought Broadway veteran and Milwaukee native Nathaniel Stampley home for this first-rate production, and he delivers in every way—his terrific baritone resonates throughout the Powerhouse and his gaze fixes on the audience frequently. This La Mancha likewise boasts evocative and authentic costuming, lighting and set design as well as a superb, diverse supporting cast headed by another Broadway vet, Leenya Rideout, as part-time prostitute Aldonza (Quixote’s “Lady Dulcinea”).
Through Oct. 30 at Quadracci Powerhouse Theater, 108 E. Wells St. For tickets, visit milwaukeerep.com or call 414-224-9490.