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One Of The "Most Enduring Pieces Of Musical Theater" Coming To The East End

Nicole Barylski

Kyle Breitenbach, Andrew Gasparini and Matthew Conlon star in Man of La Mancha. (Photo: Tom Kochie)

For its third play of its 2018-2019 season, Hampton Theatre Company (HTC) will present Man of La Mancha, the first fully-staged musical HTC has put on in its 34-year history.

Referred to as one of the "most enduring pieces of musical theater," the production is inspired by the 17th century novel Don Quixote. The play within a play revolves around Spanish writer Miguel de Cervantes who entertains a group of prisoners awaiting a hearing by performing a play based on his novel Don Quixote.

Man of La Mancha was adapted from Dale Wasserman's non-musical 1959 teleplay, I, Don Quixote. It made its debut Off Broadway at the ANTA Washington Square Theatre in Greenwich Village on November 22, 1965. Three years later, it moved to Broadway at the Martin Beck Theatre. Then it headed to the Eden Theatre, and the last month of the original Broadway run was at the Mark Hellinger Theatre.

Since then, it has been revived four times in New York. The production has also been brought to London's West End, and produced in many other countries around the world, with productions in Dutch, French (translation by Jacques Brel), German, Hebrew, Irish, Japanese, Korean, Bengali, Gujarati, Uzbek, Bulgarian, Hungarian, Serbian, Slovenian, Swahili, Finnish, Ukrainian as well as nine different dialects of the Spanish language. Next month, Man of La Mancha returns to The West End where Kelsey Grammer will star as Miguel de Cervantes and Don Quixote.

The original Broadway production took home five Tony Awards in 1966: Best Musical; Best Composer and Lyricist; Best Actor in a Musical (Richard Kiley); Best Scenic Design (Howard Bay); and Best Direction of a Musical (Albert Marre).

Man of La Mancha will star two HTC veterans: Matthew Conlon as Cervantes/Quixote and Jessica Howard who will take on the roles of the Housekeeper and the Innkeeper's Wife. The production will also feature Rick Grossman, who is making his debut on the Quogue stage reprising the role of Sancho, which he played in the recent Broadway national tour of Man of La Mancha, as well as Anthony Arpino (Innkeeper); Kyle Breitenbach (Muleteer); Andrew Gasparini (Barber/Muleteer); Michael Sean Jones (Muleteer); James M. Lotito Jr. (Carrasco); Joe Mankowski (Padre); Alyssa Marino (Fermina); Nora Moutrane (Antonia); and Elora Von Rosch (Aldonza).

"It is an undeniable fact about Man of La Mancha that if the star does even a passable job of the show's anthem, The Impossible Dream, the evening is worth any reasonable price of admission," Anita Gates of The New York Times said in a 2007 review.

Hampton Theatre Company Vice President Edward A. Brennan and HTC Artistic Director Diana Marbury will direct, while Amy Federico McGrath will serve as musical director. Sean Marbury will provide set design, with lighting by Sebastian Paczynski and costumes by Teresa Lebrun.

This isn't Hampton Theatre Company's first adaptation of a Wasserman work. In 2010, HTC put on One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, which Wasserman wrote the stage play for.

Man of La Mancha can be seen at the Quogue Community Hall from Thursday, March 21 through Sunday, April 7, with shows on Thursdays and Fridays at 7 p.m., Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2:30 p.m. There will be an additional matinee performance during the final weekend of the production, on Saturday, April 6. Special dinner and theater packages will be presented in collaboration with the Westhampton, Southampton, Hampton Bays and Quogue libraries, as will a special lunch and theater package offered at Quogue Club at the Hallock House for the Saturday matinee on April 6.

Quogue Community Hall is located at 125 Jessup Avenue in Quogue. For more information, call 1-866-811-4111 or visit www.hamptontheatre.org.

Nicole is the Editor-in-Chief of Hamptons.com where she focuses on lifestyle, nightlife, and mixology. She grew up in the Hamptons and currently resides in Water Mill. www.hamptons.com NicoleBarylski NicoleBarylski

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