Friday, January 12, 2018

reviews - MAN OF LA MANCHA - Arizona Theatre Company

Philip Hernandez and Carlos Lopez
photo by Tim Fuller
highlights from local critics reviews - (click link at bottom of each review to read complete review)

Click here for more information on this production that runs through January 28th.

"Taking a classic musical that is beloved and cherished by many and changing its time period, style of music, and overall feel and visual theme can often prove to be an exercise in futility. Therefore, I'm happy to say that Arizona Theatre Company's production of Man of La Mancha, which adds Spanish and flamenco influenced song and dance to the score and changes the time period from the Spanish Inquisition of the late 16th century to the 1950s Franco-led regime, proves to be exceptionally vibrant and full of life. It's like a breath of fresh new air has been instilled into this 50-year-old classic musical and the end result is one of the best shows I've seen at ATC as well as one of the most exceptional productions I've witnessed since reviewing shows here in the Valley..... " -Gil Benbrook, Talkin' Broadway (click here to read the complete review)

"...director David Bennett’s new approach...is so rich with invention and so full of fresh ideas on how to present a classic and make it appear new...You leave with a new sense of what theatre can deliver, its potential for boundless invention, and perhaps even the need to reevaluate what you’re looking for when you go to musical theatre....the show belongs to Philip Hernandez as Don Quixote/Miguel de Cervantes. ...He is quite magnificent." -David Appleford, Valley Screen and Stage (click here to read the complete review)

"In attempting to reinvent a musical-theater classic, there can be a fine line between high concept and gross gimmickry....Arizona Theatre Company and director David Bennett are doubly audacious in their interpretation of this idealistic parable ..Leading a superb cast is Broadway veteran Philip Hern├índez ...And Michelle Dawson’s fierce but frazzled Aldonza, a scullery maid and part-time prostitute, may resonate more in this #MeToo moment than the character ever has....Making this bold revamp work is a feat of craft that extends to every element of the production..the true triumph of director Bennett’s vision is that it doesn’t just feel like a fresh interpretation, it feels like the only interpretation, as if this were the way “Man of La Mancha” has always been performed.... " Kerry Lengel, Arizona Republic (click here to read the complete review)

"Every now and then, a transformational moment will occur in the theatre, transporting the audience into new realms of experience and understanding. Such a moment is at hand in David Bennett's vivid and compelling interpretation of MAN OF LA MANCHA....It touches the soul and ignites the emotions....By infusing the show with the vitality and sensuality of Flamenco and by engaging the players as musical accompanists, Bennett creates a captivating rhythm and mood within which the play's transactions are consummated....Philip Hernandez's portrayal as Cervantes/Quixote is beyond brilliant. ...joined by a tremendous ensemble, each delivering standout performances. Most notably:...Bennett's version of MAN OF LA MANCHA is a triumph that must be seen to believe in the power of theater to elevate the human spirit. " Herbert Paine, Broadway World (click here to read the complete review)

1 comment:

  1. I was leery about seeing Man of LaManch performed without an orchestra and staged as though it were 1960. The production was unique and splendid. The actors were the musicians as well and the musical theme throughout was flamenco. What could be more appropriate for a story in Spain? I loved it! The audience loved it!

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