Three communities to host USD Playhouse production musical masterpiece Man of La Mancha

VERMILLION, S.D. -- The University of South Dakota Playhouse invites audiences “to dream the impossible dream” when it presents the inspirational Broadway classic “Man of La Mancha.”

The classic musical will be performed at theaters in three communities: Vermillion and Sioux Falls, S.D., and Sioux City, Iowa. Performances of "Man of La Mancha" are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday evenings, and 2 p.m. Sunday matinees on June 12-14 in the Wayne S. Knutson Theatre in Vermillion; June 19-21 at the Orpheum Theater in Sioux Falls; and June 26-28 at Lamb Theatre in Sioux City.   

"Man of La Mancha," which has a book by Dale Wasserman, lyrics by Joe Darion and music by Mitch Leigh, is adapted from Wasserman’s non-musical 1959 teleplay, "I, Don Quixote," which was inspired by Miguel de Cervantes' 17th century masterpiece "Don Quixote."  Set in a prison during the late 1500’s, "Man of La Mancha" tells the story of the "mad" knight, Don Quixote, as a play within a play, performed by Cervantes and his fellow prisoners as he awaits a hearing with the Spanish Inquisition. "Man of La Mancha" features iconic musical numbers, including the title song and "We're Only Thinking of Him," "I Really Like Him," "Little Bird, Little Bird,"  "Golden Helmet of Mambrino," "To Each His Dulcinea," and "The Impossible Dream." 

The USD Playhouse, which seeks to showcase established professionals working side-by-side with emerging student artists, is in its fourth year of offering high quality musical theatre entertainment through its touring productions in the Sioux Empire. This year’s production features Bruce Earnest, as Cervantes/Don Quixote, the knight errant in search of adventure and love.  Earnest is a professional singer/actor who has performed with the Williamstown Theatre Festival, Walt Disney World, The Berkshire Theatre Project and Munich State Theatre. Dan Workman, artistic director of the Children’s Theatre Company of South Dakota, is Quixote’s sidekick, Sancho, while USD musical theatre student Krysta Dziak plays Aldonza, the tortured soul who is transformed by Quixote, who sees her as his cherished Dulcinea.  

Other professionals include Nanette Hofer, professor of musical theatre at USD as the Housekeeper; Matt Nesmith, director of musical theatre at the University of New Hampshire, as the Governor/ Innkeeper; and Ron Moyer, Ph.D., professor of theatre at The U, as the Captain of the Inquisition.   Other key roles are played by USD musical theatre students, including Kevin Kelly as The Padre, Cody Strand as The Barber, Mary Fitzgibbons as Antonia, and Tyler Hudson as Dr. Carrasco. 

"Man of La Mancha" is directed by Eric Hagen, chair of theatre at The U, with musical direction by Nanette Hofer and choreography by Mary Fitzgibbons.  Tickets are $14 for adults and $10 for youth in Vermillion, and $17 for the general public in Sioux Falls and Sioux City.  Reservations for performances in all three venues can be made beginning Monday, June 1 by calling (605) 677-5400 or online at www.usd.edu/cfa/Theatre.