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“Man of La Mancha” Dreams the Impossible Dream

With a timely story of seeking the good and innocent in the world, “Man of La Mancha” will take to the Tibbits stage for a two-week engagement Aug 6-8 and 13-15.

One of the longest-running Broadway shows of its time, “Man of La Mancha,” is a remarkable, poignant musical and one of the first shows to musicalize a piece of historical literature. Based on Cervantes’ epic 17th-century novel, “Don Quixote,” Tibbits’ production will be presented as concert-style, reader’s theatre. In the musical, an imprisoned Miguel de Cervantes gets his fellow inmates to enact his story of Don Quixote, an aged nobleman who declares himself a “knight errant.” Against all odds, Quixote and his trusty squire Sancho begin an obsessive quest, to do battle for good and the love of a fair maiden.

Through the story, all the prisoners – at least for a moment – are transformed. The mad Don Quixote may think a windmill to be a giant and a tavern to be a castle, but along the way he also transforms a wretched woman, Aldonza, into a beautiful lady. He proves that an old man’s belief can truly make him a knight.

“Man of La Mancha” features many veterans of Tibbits Summer Theatre’s professional company over the past 30 years. Charles Burr takes the featured role of Don Quixote, along with Kristina Huegel as Aldonza, Chad Tallon as Sancho, Paul Kerr as Innkeeper/Governor, Peter Riopelle as Dr. Caruso/Duke, Michael Motkowski as Barber, Matthew C. Scott as Padre/Pedro, Liz Davis as Maria, Kiersten Vorheis as Housekeeper, and Brooke Jackson as Antonia. With minimal set, costumes and staging, it is the actors’ performances which will be truly showcased in this unique presentation.

The show “Man of La Mancha” carries an applicable meaning during this pandemic. Burr, who also serves as Artistic Director said, “The idea of never giving up is certainly pertinent right now…and to be your best self or hold people to higher ideals is certainly something that we could be dealing with right now, too.”

“Man of La Mancha was last produced at Tibbits in 1982. The production will directed by Peter Riopelle with music direction by Matthew Everingham. The design staff features lights by Catie Bencowe, set design by Leon Kriser, costumes by Laura Odom and Dusti Donbrock, and sound design by Weston Felker, with Rachel Marengere as stage manager and Bryce Dansby as Master Electrician.

The 2020 TST Season that includes “Man of La Mancha” is presented through the generous sponsorship support of Coldwater Board of Public Utilities; Parrish Excavating, Inc.; and Frederick Family Dental. Additional sponsors include Coldwater Orthodontics; Dr. Jon & Seibra Herbener; Stan and Judy Bushouse; Great Lakes Chiropractic; Honor Credit Union; Coldwater Exchange Club; Matthew C. Christopher, DDS; and Vested Risk Strategies.

Tibbits’ season has been filled with changes and adjustments. “Man of La Mancha” is the only show that remains from the original mainstage line up. Performances will run Aug 6, 7, 14, and 15 at 7pm with 2pm matinees on Aug 8 and Aug 13. After the Aug 15 performance, the public is invited to join the cast and crew for a talkback to discuss the show and ask questions.

Tickets for “Man of La Mancha” are $25 (including fees) for all seats, with discounts available to Tibbits members. Tickets are available online at Tibbits.org, through the Tibbits Box office at the theatre 9 am to 5 pm weekdays or by calling 517-278-6029. Anticipating the state will move to the next phase of opening, all performances are planned in the beautiful historic Tibbits Opera House, 14 S. Hanchett Street, in Coldwater.

Tibbits has revamped its summer theatre schedule to respect social distancing guidelines and still offer the quality professional entertainment that has become synonymous with Tibbits Summer Theatre. Tibbits has added Plexiglas at points of sale, revised its seating, taken additional cleaning steps to ensure the safety of patrons and staff, and encourages the use of masks.

One of the only shows remaining from the original 2020 Tibbits Summer Theatre season, “Man of La Mancha” will take to the Tibbits stage for a two-week engagement Aug 6-8 and 13-15.