'Man of La Mancha' takes stage Jan. 8 at Toyota Center's Windermere Theatre

Dori O'Neal, Tri-City HeraldJanuary 1, 2014 

Jeff Moss

COURTESY JAM THEATRICALS

Man of La Mancha is a compelling musical story of life during the Spanish Inquisition and how one man survives the madness by dreaming the impossible dream.

The classic musical, which debuted on Broadway in 1965, will be performed Jan. 8 in the Windermere Theatre at the Toyota Center in Kennewick.

"It's a simple story told in a very interesting way," Jeff Moss, the touring show's director, told the Herald. "There have been so many periods in history that are similar to what happened during the Inquisition."

Those similarities include the McCarthy era, when thousands of Americans were accused of being communists during the 1950s, and the Salem witch trials in the 1600s.

The music story of Man of La Mancha is adapted from Dale Wasserman's original nonmusical, I, Don Quixote, which was inspired by Miguel de Cervantes' 17th century story Don Quixote.

As the story of Man of La Mancha unfolds, failed author-soldier-actor and tax collector Miguel de Cervantes and his man servant are thrown into prison by the Spanish Inquisition and charged with foreclosing on a monastery.

They were allowed to bring their possessions with them into the dungeon. There, they are attacked by their fellow prisoners, and a mock trial is conducted. If Cervantes is found guilty, he will have to hand over all his possessions. He agrees, except for a precious manuscript that the prisoners are all too eager to burn. He asks to be allowed to offer a defense, and the defense will be a play, acted out by him and all the prisoners. All agree, so the upside of the story begins with singing and dancing as part of the trial's progression.

"Even though the prisoner is in a dark and miserable place, he finds a bright spot," Moss said. "There is a lot of high energy going on in this musical."

The musical travels with an orchestra of 10 musicians, and Moss guarantees a lively evening for all.

Curtain time is 7:30 p.m. Tickets cost from $22 to $67 and are available at ticketmaster.com or the Toyota Center box office. Tickets purchased at the box office avoid service charges.

-- Dori O'Neal: 582-1514; doneal@tricityherald.com; Twitter: @dorioneal

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