Skip to main content

Man of La Mancha

Don Quixote, the infamous errant knight questing to save those in need and fighting windmills because he sees giants in their frames. He is a familiar character to most of us. Man of La Mancha is a classic musical inspired by the Spanish story. Beef & Boards’ current production of the show features Disney royalty in the titular role.

Richard White, famous for providing the voice of Gaston in Disney’s animated Beauty and the Beast, takes on the role. It is absolutely his show, featuring him first as the book’s author, Miguel de Cervantes, and then transforming into the knight. His deep baritone is perfect for the role. His Don Quixote is blundering, but sincere in his delusion and you can’t help but root for him. 
The show features a untraditional love story. The elderly knight sees Aldonza, a kitchen maid and prostitute, and decides she is his glorious lady Dulcinea and he will do anything to win her favor. Aldonza is a fiery character full of scorn. Erica Hanrahan-Ball tackles the role and though struggles with her musical numbers, she conveys her anguish and despair beautifully.

Though most will recognize the strains of “The Impossible Dream”, there were a few quieter numbers that were surprising delights. The Innkeeper (Chuck Caruso) lends his deep voice to a number with excellent results and the Padre (Jacob Butler) sang beautifully. 

The content is darker than some might expect, with scenes focusing on the Spanish inquisition and a sexual assault,(Beef & Boards has given the production a PG-13 rating). The point is that Don Quixote turns a blind eye towards anything dark or evil, choosing to focus only on an idealized version of the world. So what is worse, to dwell on the dark side of things, seeing only the worst, or to embrace a life of optimism and give hope to others? In the end, it’s beautiful to see a spark of hope where before there was only despair. 
Don't Miss the Show
Performances: The show runs until Nov. 18. Doors open for evening performances at 6 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. The buffet is served from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. and the show begins at 8 p.m. For Wednesday matinees doors open at 11:30 a.m. and the buffet is served from 11:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The show begins at 1 p.m. For Sunday matinees doors open at 12 p.m. and the buffet is served from 12:15 to 1 p.m. The show begins at 1:30 p.m.

: To purchase tickets call (317) 872-9664 between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. Prices range from $44 to $69 and include the show, tax, coffee, tea and the buffet.
Photos courtesy of Beef & Boards