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Auditions set for ‘Man of La Mancha’

Curtains Up Pagosa! has announced its Dec. 12-15 production of “Man of La Mancha” a classic musical play written by Dale Wasserman based on the 17th century masterpiece by Miguel de Cervantes, “Don Quixote.” The music, composed by Mitch Leigh with lyrics written by Joe Darion, includes the beautiful signature song, “The Impossible Dream.”

The play features primarily an adult (or older youth) male cast, though there are several significant adult female roles as well. Auditions will be open to the public and are scheduled for Friday, Sept. 21, from 2-7 p.m., at Pagosa Springs High School. Successful auditions require good acting and vocal skills.

Dale Wasserman originally wrote the nonmusical teleplay, “I, Don Quixote,” for CBS’s DuPont Show of the Month and it was broadcast live on Nov. 9, 1959, with an estimated audience of over 20 million viewers. The story is presented as a play within a play, performed by Cervantes to his fellow inmates as he awaits trial during the Spanish Inquisition.

Following the highly successful television studio production, the play “I, Don Quixote” made an unsuccessful off-Broadway stage run. Director Albert Marre saw the potential of the play and suggested to Wasserman that it be converted into a musical. The resulting musical play titled “Man of La Mancha” opened at Goodspeed Opera House in Connecticut in 1965 and, after 21 preview performances, was moved to the ANTA Theater in Greenwich Village. It enjoyed its Broadway debut at the Martin Beck Theatre 1968. The play has since been revived on Broadway four times and is considered a classic among musical theater repertoire.

“We are very excited about producing this extraordinary musical play,” says director Dale Johnson. “There are a number of people in town who have been yearning for us to perform ‘Man of La Mancha’ and we feel the time is right. It requires some very strong acting and singing skills, and we feel that our town can support that. We look forward to bringing it to Pagosa Springs.”

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