TARPON SPRINGS — The golden-age musical Man of La Mancha is known as one of the toughest shows for local theater groups to stage and perform. For one thing, it has a large cast and a tricky story line involving a play-within-a-play.
Luckily, it's also loaded with hummable tunes like its most famous song, The Impossible Dream. That's one reason why the Gilbert & Sullivan Players are taking on the challenge, beginning tonight at the Tarpon Springs Performing Arts Center.
The widely known Broadway musical, which originally opened in 1965, will run this weekend and next at the Tarpon venue. Tickets are $22, or $18 for students and seniors, or $16 per person for groups of 10 or more.
La Mancha tells the story of author Miguel de Cervantes and his manservant Sancho, who have been thrown into a dark prison during the Spanish Inquisition. They must entertain the other prisoners lest they burn Cervantes' manuscript about Don Quixote of La Mancha, a demented knight errant who roams the land seeking adventure and honor.
Cervantes offers to put on a play based on the tale he has written and asks the prisoners to take part. The story switches between Cervantes' fantasy story to the reality of the dungeon, where he and the others are imprisoned.
The Tarpon production is directed by Jamie Bierchen, with music direction by Constantine Grame. The large cast is headlined by James Demetrius as Cervantes, Chris Carmichael as Sancho, and Madison Kosloski as Dulcinea, the object of Don Quixote's affection.