Published : Monday, May 1, 2017 | 1:05 PM
A Noise Within (ANW), has added four performances of their critically acclaimed Man of La Mancha by Dale Wasserman, music by Mitch Leigh and lyrics by Joe Darion, and based on Cervantes’ Don Quixote. La Mancha performs now through June 4, 2017. Tickets for La Mancha start at $25.
MLM has been a critical darling and audience favorite, receiving standing ovations every performance. Broadway World said of this production, directed by ANW Artistic Director Julia Rodriguez-Elliott, “Perfection! A Noise Within produces a stunning, modernistic, most entertaining take on Man of La Mancha.” Theatremania said, “All in all, the production is a winner, and the company’s trip back to La Mancha is a most dreamy experience. Even the most hard-bitten con might be persuaded to pick up a prop and join the revels. Geoff Elliott has plumbed new depths with Quixote — as both a blessed-out Quixote and a thoughtful and terrified Cervantes, the actor is in complete control.”
The Los Angeles Times said Critic’s Choice — “A fine revival … fans of the show will not be disappointed and first-timers would be hard-pressed to find a better introduction. The disconnect between illusion and reality is the common theme in A Noise Within’s repertory season. The young hero of Ah, Wilderness! sheds naïve adolescent fantasies in a gentle coming-of-age comedy by Eugene O’Neill, while the self-deluded King Lear faces the deconstruction of his entire identity in Shakespeare’s darkest tragedy.”
Ah, Wilderness! continues through May 20. King Lear continues through Saturday, May 6. At the last performance of Lear on May 6, audience members will have a unique opportunity to both see Lear and Man of La Mancha on the same day. Called The Great Escape, audience members are able to dine with the casts and artistic team between the performances. Elliott said, “It’s a unique opportunity to gain insight on our design and conceptual process.” Tickets to The Great Escape are $50 per person and include food and drinks (show tickets are purchased separately).
Artistic Director Geoff Elliott takes on the challenge of playing both Lear and Cervantes/Don Quixote in repertory; In addition to the director and actor, King Lear and La Mancha share some cast and artistic design team members – Fred Kinney (Scenic), Angela Balogh Calin (Costume), and Ken Booth (Lighting).
Director Julia Rodriguez-Elliott references this quote by Pablo Picasso: “We artists are indestructible; even in a prison, or in a concentration camp, I would be almighty in my own world of art, even if I had to paint my pictures with my wet tongue on the dusty floor of my cell.”
She said, “Man of La Mancha is a real-world fairy tale: despite the dire circumstances, through the power of art, these prisoners have the ability to transform their claustrophobic existence into the vastness of Cervantes’ vision. The modern-day setting – a bleak, destitute ‘holding tank’ for prisoners – is intentional. Reminiscent of third-world prisons and military detention centers, and populated with empathetic characters, I want this La Mancha to feel personal to our audiences. The stakes are real, and I want the transformation from hardened criminals to true believers to be palatable to our audiences.”
Geoff Elliott said, “In his way, Cervantes/Don Quixote is Lear’s doppelganger. As he assumes Quixote’s persona, Cervantes gains the courage and the strength needed to face the uncertain future of the inquisition. It seemed natural to pair Shakespeare and Cervantes – two essential figures in English and Spanish culture–on the heels of the 400th anniversary of their deaths. I saw an opportunity to approach Lear and La Mancha in a fresh new way. Both stories are deeply personal and have such an epic worldview.”
Rodriguez-Elliott points out that ANW’s state-of-the-art theatrical space – 283-seat house with a thrust stage – is the perfect playground on which to explore the epic and intimate nature of these two plays.”
“In Lear, this personal journey of a family dealing with an ailing patriarch has global implications,” said Rodriguez-Elliott. “The breakdown of a nation runs concurrent with Lear’s mental decline. At the beginning of the play, see a man at the zenith of his power, a modern day dictator who is feared and has never heard the word NO. The world we enter is a violent, callous one. At the end, we see a man transformed.”
“La Mancha is about the power of imagination – and how important it is onstage and in our own lives. It’s a play that truly represents the transformative power of the theatre; a perfect way to end our 25th Anniversary season.”
Tickets for Man of La Mancha, King Lear and Ah, Wilderness!, starting at $25, are available online at www.anoisewithin.org and by phone by calling (626) 356-3100.
The Man of La Mancha cast includes Geoff Elliott* as Don Quixote, Kasey Mahaffy* as Sancho Panza, Cassandra Marie Murphy* as Aldonza, Cassie Simone* as Antonia/Fermina, Jeremy Rabb* as Padre, Gabriel Zenone* as Innkeeper/Governor, Cynthia Marty* as Innkeeper’s Wife/Maria, with ensemble members Tyler Miclean, Jordan Goodsell, Andrew Joseph Perez*, Michael Uribes*, Mario Arciniega, and Marissa Ruiz. * Denotes member of Actors’ Equity
The King Lear cast includes Geoff Elliott* as King Lear, Trisha Miller* as Goneril, Arie Thompson* as Regan, Erika Soto* as Cordelia, Christopher Franciosa* as Duke of Albany, Jeremy Rabb* as Duke of Cornwall, Apollo Dukakis* as Earl of Gloucester, Stephen Weingartner* as Earl of Kent, Rafael Goldstein* as Edgar, Freddy Douglas* as Edmund, Craig Brauner as Oswald, Kasey Mahaffy* as the Fool, Tyler Miclean as King of France, Troy Whiteley as Duke of Burgundy, with Jonathan Padron, Mario Arciniega, and Marissa Ruiz in the Ensemble. * Denotes member of Actors’ Equity
About A Noise Within
A Noise Within, celebrating its 25th Anniversary during the 2016-2017 season, was recently named “one of the nation’s premier classical repertory companies” by The Huffington Post, and is a leading regional producer based in Pasadena.
ANW’s award-winning resident company practices a rotating repertory model at their state-of-the-art, 283-seat performing space. This venue, established in 2011, has allowed ANW to expand its audience, surpassing its previous box office, subscription, and attendance records each year.
In addition to producing world-class performances of classical theatre, the organization runs robust education programs committed to inspiring diverse audiences of all ages. Helmed by Producing Artistic Directors Geoff Elliott and Julia Rodriguez-Elliott, who hold MFAs from San Francisco’s American Conservatory Theatre, A Noise Within truly delivers Classic Theatre Modern Magic. www.anoisewithin.org