Modesto Performing Arts will put on the classic musical "Man of La Mancha," rooted in the story of
The new production features a new cast, new costumes and new set yet stays true to the traditional story of a play-within-a-play during the time of the Spanish Inquisition.
"This is based on one of the most powerful stories ever written," said Modesto Performing Arts Director
The Modesto Performing Arts staging features veteran Merced actor Curtis Nelson as
The cast of some 25 local performers has been rehearsing since mid-May for the musical. The original
Tischer, who is directing the show, said despite the tale being set in the late 16th century, the story's themes remain timeless. From war and death to homelessness and poverty, the issues could be contemporary. While Quixote's life is filled with fanciful and humorous experiences, Nelson said, at its core, it is just about the human experience.
"There is everything from birth to death," he said. "It grabs hold of these emotions everyone experiences and condenses them into a wonderful story."
As the seen-it-all Aldonza, a server at the inn and a part-time prostitute, Serpa said her character at first resists the wild-eyed optimism of Quixote. But, like the audience, she eventually is won over by him.
"The whole point of his song 'The Impossible Dream' is to continue to believe in the good, despite adversity," Serpa said. "On a personal level, it's about believing in yourself. Only when you do that can you see your true beauty and worth."
Still, there is always the little issue of Quixote's sanity to contend with. As his pragmatic manservant Sancho Panza, Bradley said whether Quixote is nuts or not isn't really the point.
"I think society perceives dreams are crazy," he said. "Most people look at idealists and say, 'Why are they not normal?' But (Sancho) follows him because he craves that better world Quixote sees."
Bee staff writer
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