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By Sally Neel
Special to The PREVIEW
A talented group of amateur and semi-professional actors and musicians lined up last Friday to audition for Curtains Up Pagosa’s upcoming production of “Man of La Mancha.”
The selected cast, featuring veteran actor Dave Armbrecht in the lead role as Don Quixote, will begin rehearsals this week as they work to bring this notable dramatic musical to the stage Dec.12-15.
“The selection for this musical was particularly difficult,” says Dale Johnson, production and artistic director of Curtains Up Pagosa (formerly Music Boosters). “This musical is a favorite of many seasoned actors, not just because of the beautiful music or the strong, sometimes humorous, and ultimately touching storyline, but also because the script itself is so well written. It is a fun and rewarding play to perform.”
In fact, the script is so fantastic, Johnson herself auditioned for a role. “It has been a long time since I have gotten out of my director’s role and been on stage,” she said. “I couldn’t resist giving this a shot. The audition committee was instructed to consider everyone equally for the part of the Innkeeper’s wife, and I believe they honestly did. I am very excited to have this opportunity to flex my acting muscles again.”
Also selected for a part in the play was Jarret Heber, playing the role of Sancho, Don Quixote’s faithful servant. Heber was recently seen in the role of the prince in this summer’s production of “Cinderella.” Darcy DeGuise, who made her Pagosa Springs acting debut as the hilarious Fairy Godmother in “Cinderella,” will once again demonstrate her incredible vocal and more serious acting skills in her portrayal of Dulcinea, Don Quixote’s love interest.
Other cast members include adult and student actors: Phil Kuhl, Kurt Laverty, Keith Paulson, Roger Jensen, Jodi Kurz, Ben Reece, Dillon McKee, Brayden Mitchell, Billy Baughman, Kitman Gill, Sacha Santacruz, Hayley Hudson, Hannah Hemenger, Taylor Jones, Johannah Laverty, Rowan Taylor and Ayriana Rackham.
“This is a very strong cast,” says Johnson, “and we are all anxious to get started! Our loyal and devoted pit orchestra, led by Sally Neel, will also begin rehearsing soon, so I think our audience can expect a very special treat this holiday season!”