Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Man of La Mancha, Georgetown Palace, October 2 - November 1

The Georgetown Palace production of Man of La Mancha starts out moody, atmospheric and harsh, and it comes surging beautifully through that dark, difficult second act.

The Inquisition is awaiting in the darkness above, and Cervantes is storytelling to save his life and possessions from the thieves and murderers who surround him. In Cervantes' fantastical tale of the deranged Alonso Quijana, that Knight of the Woeful Countenance has lost it. The knight's beloved Dulcinea--Aldonza the prostitute and scullery maid--has been gang raped, and he doesn't know it.

Dulcinea curses Quijana for his foolishness and his misguided belief that life contains any hope at all.

Then, in the filth and stink both of the prison before us and of the misadventures of his quest, Joe Penrod as Cervantes/Quijana/Quijote replies with The Impossible Dream:

To dream the impossible dream;
To fight the unbeatable foe;
To bear with unbearable sorrow,
To run where the brave dare not go.

To right the unrightable wrong;
To be better far than you are;
To try when your arms are too weary
To reach the unreachable star . . . .

It's an exalting and inspired moment, one that squeezes the heart and puts into you the dizzy hope of beauty, meaning and peace.

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