By: Jennifer Reed
Last night I was privileged to attend the final dress rehearsal for the Ray-Pec Theater Department’s presentation of the Man of La Mancha. I have never seen this play performed before, but honestly I can’t imagine it could be done any better than what I witnessed last night. It is a two-act play, each lasting approximately an hour. The music is engaging, the staging very detailed, and the costumes are top notch. The lighting is spot on and the few sound issues were addressed at the end of the performance and all will be ready to go for opening night tonight.
The cast is simply incredible. They are flawless in both line delivery and facial expressions. The leads are Sawyer Bletscher as Miguel De Cervantes/Don Quixote, Ian Fleming as Sancho Panza, and Ali Gillespi as Aldonza. All three give stellar performances that are completely enthralling and entertaining. The supporting cast is incredible as well, from the two memorable “horses,” to the inquisition guards, to the mule runners – all are comfortable with their roles and that translates to the audience as authentic. The music and songs are moving and performed so well that listeners will be transported to 16th century Spain.
I read an excerpt of Don Quixote in high school, but after seeing this play, I want to read the entire book. That is how well these students perform this classic. This is a “must see” play. It is very professionally done and audiences will love the characters and songs. I was certainly humming “The Impossible Dream” for the rest of the evening.
“The Man of La Mancha” opens tonight at the RPHS Academy Theater at 7:30 pm. They will also perform on Friday and Saturday night also at 7:30 and Sunday afternoon at 2:30. Tickets are $7 for adults and $5 for students. I promise this performance is well worth the time and money. You won’t be disappointed.