Thursday, February 28, 2008

Man of La Mancha at KGHS

I’ve loved the soundtrack of Man of La Mancha since I was a little girl, but until last night, I had never seen a stage production. As for last night’s performance at King George High School, I loved it. To start with, the set design was very innovative: most of the action took place on angled platforms designed to look like ancient stone. Scene changes were indicated by the use of simple props, as well as images that were projected onto three rustic scrims at the rear of the set. The director intended the set to look “challenging” and “intimidating,” and apparently it was especially so for the precariously perched actors.

The production featured a small pit orchestra that did an excellent job. The borrowed audio system worked like a charm (I guess high tech audio is the norm at high school productions these days). The costuming was first-rate. But the heart of the production for me was the young man who played Cervantes/Don Quixote. His voice and stage presence were outstanding. Other strong voices included Aldonza/Dulcinea and the priest, and the cast of over 60 students brought a lot of energy to the performance.

The play runs tonight, tomorrow and Saturday night. Tickets are $8. Start time is apparently a moving target. When we got there 15 minutes before the publicized 7:30 curtain, a short, unrelated “lobby scene” was already in progress (what is it with the pre-show show?). Today's FLS Weekender now says the lobby scene starts at 6:30, and the play starts at 7.

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