Countdown to Man of La Mancha
All New Production Begins Performances February 7-9
"An exquisite musical play!” — New York Daily News
“Charm, gallantry and delicacy of spirit” — The New York Times
“Musical theatre at its finest. A triumph.” — United Press International
Man Of La Mancha returns to the stage in an all-new production of the Tony Award winning musical that has inspired audiences since the very first notes of “The Impossible Dream” were heard on opening night. Performances begin February 7 at 8 pm. Tickets may be purchased at the Ford Box Office at Scottrade Center, all Ticketmaster Ticket Centers, by phone at 800-745-3000, or online at ticketmaster.com.
Jeffrey B. Moss directs an all new production that features Jack E. Curenton as Don Quixote, Jessica Norland as Aldonza and Rick Grossman as Sancho, along with Jebbel Arce, Felipe Bombonato, Chuck Caruso, Rachel Felstein, Todd Fenstermaker, Alison Gleason, Tucker Hammock, Chuck Hodges, Ivan Hoffman, Arthur Lazalde, Gabriel Rodrigues, Andrew Serkes, Grant Snuffer, Eugene Steficek, and Yvonne Strumecki. Denis Jones choreographs, with musical supervision by Cherie Rosen.
Man Of La Mancha is a remarkable show and one of the great theatre successes of our time. This play-within-a-play is based on Cervantes's Don Quixote. We have a poignant story of a dying old man whose ‘impossible dream’ takes over his mind. Against all odds, a man sees good and innocence in a world filled with darkness and despair. Man Of La Mancha won 5 Tony Awards including Best Musical, along with the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Musical and the Outer Critics Circle Award.
Enter the mind and the world of Don Quixote as he pursues his quest for the impossible dream: Miguel de Cervantes, aging and an utter failure, has been thrown into a dungeon in Seville to await trial by the Inquisition for an offense against the Church. But first he must face a kangaroo court of his fellow prisoners: thieves, cutthroats and trollops who propose to steal his meager possessions, including the unfinished manuscript of a novel called Don Quixote. Cervantes, seeking to save it, proposes a form of an entertainment. The ‘court’ agrees and before their eyes, Cervantes and his faithful manservant transform themselves into Don Quixote and Sancho Panza. They proceed to play out the story with the participation of the prisoners as other characters, Quixote and Sancho taking to the road, to restore the age of chivalry, to battle evil, and right all wrongs.
Man Of La Mancha played for 2,328 performances in New York at the ANTA Washington Square Theatre and on Broadway at the Martin Beck, Eden and Mark Hellinger Theatres starring Richard Kiley and Joan Diener. Kiley and Diener repeated the success at the Vivian Beaumont Theatre in 1972, and the show has since been revived on Broadway several times, most recently at the Martin Beck Theatre with Brian Stokes Mitchell in the title role. The show played for 253 performances in London at the Piccadilly Theatre.
Feb. 7 @ 8 P.M.
Feb. 8 @ 2 & 8 P.M.
Feb. 9 @ 2 & 7:30 P.M.
Jeffrey B. Moss (Director) is an award winning director - both in America and around the globe – whose work includes the development of new plays and musicals such as Before The Dream by Charles Strouse and Leslie Lee, Passin’ It On by Larry Atlas and Terry Cashman, The Jazz Club by John Nassivera, Mermaids, based on the MGM film, and Charles Strouse’s Real Men as well as the staging of many national and international tours including My Fair Lady, Damn Yankees!, Peter Pan, The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas, Music Of The Night, Annie, West Side Story, 42nd Street, Annie Get Your Gun, Mame, and A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum. He often directs newly imagined productions of classic musicals such as Golden Boy (with a new book by Leslie Lee) and the critically praised new production of Rags seen at The Coconut Grove Playhouse and Paper Mill Playhouse and is currently in pre-production for a new staging of The Rothschilds. In New York, he directed the hit musical Mayor by Charles Strouse and Warren Leight, the Cy Coleman/Neil Simon musical Little Me and Bill Boggs’ Talk Show Confidential. He was the director of the New York and Kennedy Center productions of Some Enchanted Evening, now part of the Rodgers and Hammerstein Library, and directed the stage and television versions of Barry Manilow's musical, The Drunkard, starring Tom Bosley. Over 20 of the musical productions he has staged have been seen in Asia. In London he recently staged the international company of The Sound Of Music and has just opened the 50th Anniversary USA National touring company of Hello, Dolly! starring Sally Struthers.
Denis Jones (Choreographer) recently choreographed the Broadway-bound Honeymoon in Vegas (Paper Mill Playhouse), Johnny Baseball, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum and She Loves Me (Williamstown Theater Festival), Elf (Seattle's 5th Ave), Chicago and Spamalot (The Muny), Pirates! (Huntington Theater), and National Tours of Damn Yankees and My Fair Lady. In addition, Denis choreographed “Rosie Live” (NBC), “The Kennedy Center Honors” (CBS) and Sex and the City 2 (New Line Cinema). Upcoming projects include Sound of Music (Chicago Lyric), Piece of My Heart (Signature, NY), and Grease (MUNY).
Cherie Rosen (Musical Supervisor) is proud to be part of this production of Man of La Mancha; it is one of her favorite shows. Cherie’s current musical home is in the jungle pit at the Minskoff Theater in NYC where she is the Associate Conductor for Broadway’s The Lion King. Her other Broadway conducting credits include the last two revivals of Man of La Mancha (starring Raul Julia and Brian Stokes Mitchell), The King and I, Jekyll and Hyde and Annie Get Your Gun. Cherie’s musical career has taken her from Anchorage, Alaska to Palermo, Italy conducting and/or playing the piano and guitar for numerous touring musicals such as West Side Story, The Who’s Tommy, A Chorus Line, Dreamgirls, Forty Second Street and many more. Cherie has conducted orchestras behind Brian Stokes Mitchell, Raul Julia, Bernadette Peters, Marie Osmond, Faith Prince and Lou Diamond Phillips. She served as Music Supervisor for recent tours of My Fair Lady and Dreamgirls. No longer a road warrior, she happily makes her home in New York City with her husband and two sons.
Dale Wasserman (Author) (November 2, 1914 – December 21, 2008) In earlier days he roamed America as a hobo, gravitating into theater where he cut his teeth on every conceivable job - stage manager, lighting designer, producer and director, among them. In the mid 1950s he walked off a Broadway musical he was directing and turned his attention to writing, producing a flow of works for theater, film and television. Among them was the TV play “I, Don Quixote” which became Man of La Mancha, a five time Tony Award winner and one of the most successful musicals of all time. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, initially a flop on Broadway, later scored marathon runs in San Francisco and New York, leading to its famous film. His movies include The Vikings, Cleopatra and A Walk with Love & Death.
Mitch Leigh (Music) composed Man of La Mancha, which originally opened on Broadway in 1965 and went on to win five Tony Awards including Best Musical. Man of La Mancha ran for 2328 performances on Broadway, making it one of the greatest musicals of all time, spawning numerous national and international productions. His other Broadway scores include Cry for Us All, Sarava, Chu Chem, and Ain’t Broadway Grand. He is the recipient of numerous awards including the NY Drama Critics Circle Award and the Contemporary Classics Awards from the Songwriters’ Hall of Fame for “The Impossible Dream,” and he is the first composer to receive the Yale Arts Award for Outstanding Achievement in Musical Composition. He has also been honored as the only living composer whose work was included in the Metropolitan Opera’s Centennial Celebration. Mr. Leigh produced and directed Yul Brynner’s farewell tour of The King and I. In 2001 the Music School at Yale University was named Leigh Hall.
Joe Darion (Lyrics) (January 30, 1917 - June 6, 2001) has worked in every field in which words are put to music, from popular songs to works for the concert stage. His opera based on Don Marquis’ immortal characters Archy and Mehitabel, was turned into the Broadway musical Shinbone Alley, for which Mr. Darion supplied book and lyrics. Popular songs for which he has supplied the lyrics include “Ricochet,” “Changing Partners,” and “Midnight Rain,” selling in the tens of millions. One of the most popular has been “The Impossible Dream,” from Man of La Mancha, which won Darion the Tony Award for Best Lyrics. He also supplied the lyrics for the Broadway musical Illya Darling, adapted from the film Never on Sunday. In addition to the Tony Award, he has the Outer Critics Circle Award, the Gabriel Award, the Ohio State Award, and the International Broadcasting Award.
Jack E. Curenton (Don Quixote) has performed lead roles in over 80 stage productions and musicals with thousands of performances and is very excited to reprise the role tonight for you that he did over 30 years ago, He has had lead roles in Camelot (Arthur), My Fair Lady (both Higgins and Doolittle), Jacques Brel, Music Man (Harold Hill), Oliver! (Fagin, 3 different productions), and Beauty the Beast (Belle’s Father), to name a few. He recently produced and toured the southwest in productions of Fiddler on the Roof as Lazar Wolf and Pirates of Penzance as Major General Stanley. He followed this by producing a tour, with the musical group The Black Tongue Bells, as the lead Story Teller/Narrator in a show he lovingly refers to as their Swamp Opera. The real name is: That Great and Dreadful Day-Tall Tales From The American Swamp. As he puts it, “I liked this show/story so much I now own production rights to it and am taking it on tour to New Orleans” and on the road. In past years he also entertained on average up to 8000 of his new “Best Friends” daily as the Narrator/Sultan in the Disney California Adventure Park production of Aladdin, the Musical Spectacular (before it became a national tour). With over 350 film, commercial, voice-over and video credits, he is constantly busy plying his talents. He was cast in a leading role in a TV series pilot, “Ghost Town” (Sunny Boy Entertainment) that recently premiered in Hollywood and he is frequently seen around the country, in commercials for auto dealers as the Zany Dr. I P Dollar and has several commercials currently running in Europe and on YouTube.
Jessica Norland (Aldonza) is thrilled to be on her first national tour with Man of La Mancha. Huge thanks to Alison Franck and this incredible creative team. Favorite regional roles include Louise in Gypsy, Anita in West Side Story, Narrator in Joseph..., Prisoner #2 in Marie Christine, and most recently, Marty in Grease at Gateway Playhouse. A New Jersey native, Jessica has a BFA from the Boston Conservatory. She is also a singer in the Michael Hart Band with Hank Lane Music.
Rick Grossman (Sancho) is honored to be with the MOLM 2014 tour, and once again playing this wonderful role created in 1965 by his late “uncle,” Irving Jacobson. As both an actor and director for over 50 years Rick has over 200 productions to his credit. He has appeared Off-Broadway in The Manufacturer's Daughter, Awake & Sing, Feldman & Sons, Harry & Eddie: The Birth Of Israel, Damn Yankees (as The Devil, Lincoln Center Outdoors) and It's A Funny World. National tours: Enter Laughing, Come Blow Your Horn, Milk & Honey. Regional theater: Oliver! (Fagin), The Producers (Max Bialystock), Cats (Bustopher/Gus), Anything Goes (Moonface), Titanic: The Musical (Edgar Beane), Gypsy (Herbie), Little Shop Of Horrors (Mushnik) and Fiddler (Tevye), amongst many others. Film/TV: The Pitch, The 30 Year Old Bris, Finding Oscar, Byte Me (Pilot). Rick's theatrical roots go back to his parents and grandparents, who pioneered Yiddish Theatre across North America, and he received his training at NYC's H.S. of Performing Arts, Hofstra University, and Pasadena Playhouse and with acting "guru" Stella Adler.