Review: Man of La Mancha

Man of La ManchaMan of La Mancha
by Dale Wasserman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Man of La Mancha / 0-394-40619-2

Though I find the Don Quixote story to be moving and meaningful, I am the first to admit that the full work of Cervantes can be incredibly daunting - not exactly light evening reading. "Man of La Mancha" has managed to perfectly distill the Don Quixote story into a short, heart-warming play that is, if possible, even greater than the source material.

Whereas, in the original, Don Quixote's ravings are regularly used as witty insight or satirical commentary, in "Man of La Mancha", the ravings of our madman show us the veneer of the world we ought to live in. The character of Dulcinea is particularly touching - where those who would use and abuse her see only a whore broken by life's cruelties and painful necessities, our mad hero sees a woman capable of love, kindness, and friendship. He sees a person, with pain and sorrow and strength and inner beauty. How can we know that this view is "insanity"? Perhaps it is the rest of the world that is mad, and only our dear man of La Mancha has clear senses.

~ Ana Mardoll

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