'La Mancha' proves a dream

Fullerton College Hornet  - Steve Spehar - Friday, February 20th, 1987
DOS HOMBRES - Sancho (Marco Julio Villegas) and Don' Quixote (Rafael Duran), of the Spanish cast, stretch the bounds of imagination during last Tuesday's .grand unveiling matinee of ' Man of La Mancha' in FC's Campus Theatre. performances continue through next Sunday in both Spanish (Mar 15, 19, & 21) and English (Mar. 14, & 22). For ticket info.,call 871-8101.

A truly amazing* theatrical event..

The FC Theatre production of "Man of La Mancha" soars to instant success. Running from March. 12-March 22, the musical will not only, sparkle in English (March 12, 14, 20; and 22),.- but will also be performed, in. its root slanguage, of Spanish (March 15,19 and 21.). Sorry, folks, but if you speak, Turkish, you're out of luck.

For those not familiar with "Man of La Mancha," a. little background is 'in order. The musical is centered around the character Miguel de Cervantes, a struggling, poet, 'actor and tax collector .'during the time of the Spanish' Inquisition, who, supplements his humble existence with visions of romance-filled adventure and of long-past days of gallantry, dragons, and knightly quests.: His life's work an'd love lie in the form of. his manuscript, which is- snatched up by the 'prisoners in .the'. dungeon in which he is thrust (for' foreclosing on a church). To save it from being tossed into. the fire, he and his faithful" manservant engage the cast of motley prisoners in an 'entertainment,' the fantastical adventures and. misadventures of Don Quixote and his sidekick Sancho Panza. And away we go.

"Facts are the enemies of truth!" booms Quixote, and with~ this '.in mind, he sets off to. tackle his first glorious task... .that of slaying the' fiercest of all ' dragons, the strongest of '*any: legendary monster,' 'the 'abominable creature' with four rotating arms! This. horrific creature is...a windmill?

From 'one .misadventure. to another, Don Quixote and Sancho traverse the countryside, looking for evil wherever, it can be find.' Yet, they are not alone' Humor rides with them; along with the. painful consequences of covering up reality with the world of imagination, and. Quixote must eventually, face his. own 'worst enemy-himself. In one of the most' uplifting. moments in .modern theater. history, his "Impossible Dream" becomes for the audience an incredible climactic spectacle.

Set Designer Bob .Jensen's world is 'Disneyish' which is not to .say 'Mickey Mouse'' because the set is far from cheesy.. The elaborate design 'propels the audience into the. fantasy world of Cervantes" imagination, while making one subtly aware of the musty, sixteenth-century prison. Sound and. lighting designs sparkle with brilliant, on-stage creations that dazzle and impress the audience's' eyes' and mind. Along with' special effects, like fog, the technical creative 'talents at work on "La Mancha" make you wonder if George took some time off over at - Lucasfilm, to come over and. help out.,

The music in the musical was orchestrated magnificently. Conducted by Larry Lowder, the orchestra performed as though they ate, ' drank,. slept and breathed harmony. Building moments >of suspense,. tearing down moments of anguish and pain, they played with hearts. and souls of .the 'audience,. like a surgeon who meticulously labors to save a man from death.

Did Oscar DeLaurente have something. to do with the costume designs? Looking at the costumes, one might think he had. Looking at the program, it was evident. he did not. But. with 'Dale. Becherer and Gary Krinke behind the scenes,, working on the finely-detailed, sixteenth century clothing--one can, only