Man of La Mancha in Concert opens July 10th starring William Michals
Man of La Mancha, the beloved musical that follows the adventures of the eternally optimistic, Don Quixote, launches the summer season at Palm Beach Dramaworks on Wednesday July 10 (8PM), the first of two shows to be presented in concert as part of the Musical Theatre Masters Series. Man of La Mancha plays a limited engagement through July 21 at the Don & Ann Brown Theatre (201 Clematis Street). The production is directed by Clive Cholerton, with musical direction by Caryl Fantel. Stephen Sondheim's Company follows from August 7 through August 18. Often referred to as "America's Baritone" as well as a regular on Broadway, William Michals will be cast as the production's "Don Quixote" along with Alix Paige as "Aldonza" and Oscar Cheda as "Sancho." Ken Clement, Leah Sessa, Rodrigo De la Rosa, Nick Duckart, Joshua Grosso, Barry Tarallo and Cassandra Zepeda complete the acting company. Having last appeared in the landmark revival of Rodgers and Hammerstein's South Pacific at Lincoln Center, William Michals made his Broadway debut as "The Beast" in Disney's Beauty and the Beast, and later returned to play "Gaston" in the same production. His career has continued in such roles as "Javert" in Les Miserables, "Billy Flynn" in Chicago, "Harold Hill" in The Music Man, and the title role in The Phantom of the Opera. Not only has Michals played the great theatrical venues of the nation, including Carnegie Hall, Broadway's fabled Palace Theatre, L.A.'s Ahmanson and D.C.'s Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, but he's also entertained in New York's finest rooms, including the Rainbow Room, The Four Seasons, and the Grand Ballroom of The Plaza. He regularly appears with the country's leading orchestras, including the San Francisco, San Diego, Utah, and Hartford Symphonies, The New York Pops, and recently appeared with Peter Nero and the Philly Pops for another sold-out evening of "Broadway Showstoppers." The Tony Award-winning Man of La Mancha is inspired by Miguel de Cervantes's seventeenth-century masterpiece "Don Quixote," about a madman and self-appointed knight errant who sets out to perform heroic deeds. The show, with a book by Dale Wasserman, music by Mitch Leigh, and lyrics by Joe Darion, takes place in a Seville prison where Cervantes is awaiting trial, and is performed as a play within a play. Man of La Mancha opened on Broadway in 1965 with Richard Kiley in the title role, ran for 2,328 performances, and has become one of musical theatre's most enduring works, with four Broadway revivals and countless productions all over the world. The show's most famous song, "The Impossible Dream," beautifully captures the piece's message of hope. The Musical Theatre Masters Series features concert versions of classic musicals, with limited instrumental accompaniment and minimal staging and design. These full-length presentations include both the score and the book. For 13 years, Palm Beach Dramaworks has brought to the Palm Beaches a distinguished roster of plays under the guidance of Producing Artistic Director William Hayes. Palm Beach Dramaworks is a non-profit, professional theatre and is a member of the Theatre Communications Group, the South Florida Theatre League, Southeastern Theatre Conference, Florida Professional Theatres Association, Florida Theatre Conference, and the Palm Beach County Cultural Council. Performances are scheduled Wednesday through Saturday at 8pm, with matinees on Saturday and Sunday at 2PM. All tickets are $35.00. Student tickets at $10 and group rates for 10 or more are also available. The Don & Ann Brown Theatre is located in the heart of downtown West Palm Beach, at 201 Clematis Street. For ticket information contact the box office at (561) 514-4042, open Monday from 10AM to 5PM, Tuesday through Saturday from 10AM to 6PM, and Sunday from 11AM to 5PM, or visit www.palmbeachdramaworks.org.