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PLAY, MUSICAL OR OPERA CRITIQUE

Name Tom Williams Class period/section MW 9:45


1) What play, musical or opera did you attend? {Include name, location, name o company or
perormers, ! director" {No #i$h %chool productions are permitted"
Name: Man o &a Mancha
&ocation: #ale Center Theater 'rem
(ctors: (rt (llen, )a*e +urton, (ndy #ansen, +rannon ,ill$o, -atric. ,int/, (nna )aines
0enna.er, )aniel 1enton (nderson, %pencer +ean, 2onathan 1iield, &ita &ittle 3iddins,
(ndre4 0o5ertson, )a*id Matthe4 %mith, ,enna %mith, %helly %te4art Trau6
)irector: )a*e Tinney
2) 3i*e a summary or description o the play you sa47 {(t least 859 4ords"
Man o &a Mancha is the story o Mi$uel de Cer*antes, 4ho is a stru$$lin$ :poet o the theater;
turned ta6er to ma.e ends meet7 #e is put in a %panish prison, 4ith all o his 5elon$in$s, or
ta6in$ the Catholic Church, 4here he a4aits trial7 While there the other prisoners also put him
on trial, 4here i he is ound $uilty all o his 5elon$in$s 4ould 5e let 4ith them7 The trial is held
and he is ound $uilty7 1earul o losin$ his 5elon$in$s, speciically a manuscript 4hich is only
o *alue to him, he demands a chance or deense, and he deends himsel 5y actin$ out a play
in 4hich the other prisoners participate7 The play is the story )on <ui6ote, a sel=proclaimed
.ni$ht that most he encounters see him as a mad man or ha*in$ such hi$h optimistic *ie4s o
the 4orld7 In spite o many dreadul encounters, he remains optimistic as he tries to con*ince
all :to see the 4orld as it ou$ht to 5e and not as it is7; >ltimately, he chan$es the heart o the
other prisoners 4ho then ind him not $uilty, ?ust 5eore he is ta.en 5y the $uards or his trial
4ith the In@uisition7
3) )iscuss the @uality o the perormance7 Include a discussion o the costumes, li$htin$,
actin$ @uality, direction, sound @uality, and any mista.es or other pro5lems that detracted
rom the perormance7 {A59 4ords"
I thou$ht the @uality o the perormance 4as *ery $ood, especially or such a small sta$e 4ith
4hich the actors had to 4or. 4ith, 4hich really must ha*e limited their mo*ement and added a
le*el o caution7 The actors 4ere $reat7 I didnBt thin. any o them 4ere 5ad or 5elo4 a*era$e,
and they all played their parts *ery 4ell7 They all seemed to really del*e into the characters to
ma.e them 5elie*a5le 4hile still .eepin$ it li$ht and a 5it comedic7 It 4as a musical, so there
4as a $ood amount o sin$in$, 5ut they all san$ 4ell and in .ey, and the sound @uality o the
music 4as $ood too, e*en thou$h or the most part it 4as ?ust recordin$s7 There 4as one son$
in 4hich they played 4ith li*e instruments and it sounded ?ust as $ood, i not 5etter7 The
li$htin$ 4as $ood as I had no pro5lem seein$ thin$s, 5ut then a$ain, the sta$e 4as no more
than C9 eet rom e*en the arthest seats o the audience7 They made $ood use o the sta$e
and the props, a lot o them ha*in$ multiple uses, and transitions to set them up didnBt eel
rushed or a4.4ard, or detract rom the play7 The costumes 4erenBt a pro5lem either and 4ere
5elie*a5le, and matched 4hat I 4ould thin. 4as the common appearance o the time7 I also did
not notice any mista.es made 5y the actors and, or me, nothin$ really detracted rom the
e6perience7
4) )iscuss the social ! philosophical issues the play addresses and indicate 4hat
ans4ers/conclusions 4ere reached Di7e7 4hat 4as the :ar$ument; o the 4or.?E7 {A59
4ords"
I 5elie*e the main issue addressed 4as that o the 4ay the 4orld 4as *ie4ed at the time7 (t
the *ery 5e$innin$, the prisoners .ind o had the attitude that it 4as e*ery man or himsel and
youBre on your o4n, as 5red is dropped rom a hole in the ceilin$ and all the prisoners rush to
$et ?ust a tiny piece, 5ut one o them, called the 3o*ernor, orces them to $i*e up 4hat they
hadnBt eaten yet7 (nd 4hen Mi$uel de Cer*antes enters the cell 4ith his 5elon$in$s, a$ain, all
the prisoners rush o*er them to $et 4hat may 5e o use7 It is *ery o5*ious that they are in a
*ery dire situation, e*en more so 4hen a5out hal 4ay throu$h the play 4ithin the play they are
stopped 5y the $uards, as one descends the stairs, opens a small $ate on the loor and dra$s
out a youn$ 4oman 4ho starts screamin$ or her lie7 +ut the play that the prisoners act out
ollo4s )on <ui6ote, the naF*e :mad man; 4ho sees the 4orld and all its contents so
optimistically7 #e sees himsel as a coura$eous .ni$ht, e*en thou$h he 4as ne*er .ni$hted7
#e sees a royal castle in the place o a shoddy inn7 #e sees :his lady,; the 4oman o his
dreams, instead o the lo4ly maid and 4hore7 #e sees the 3olden #elmet o Mam5rino instead
o a simple 5ar5erBs sha*in$ 5uc.et7 (nd he sees riends in his enemies7 #e is seen as insane,
seein$ such thin$s 4hile e*eryone else can only see the rats and lo4ly thin$s o lie, 5ut
Cer*ante claims: :too much sanity may 5e madness and the maddest o all, to see the 4orld
as it is and not as it should 5e7; That is the point he tries to ma.e: to ma.e the 4orld 4hat you
4ant o it7
5) I this 4as a musical or opera, discuss the role that music played in the 4or.G '0 i not a
musical or opera, ho4 4as mood and/or emotion e6pressed, con*eyed and/ or supported
in the play? {859 4ords"
I elt that the music sort o pro?ected the emotions o the characters onto the audience in a 4ay7
There 4as simple music that mi$htB*e 5een common to hear comin$ rom a 5ard o that era
and there 4as more comple6 and e6citin$ music 4hen it 4as called or, such as the i$ht scene
5et4een <ui6ote and his enemies7 There is also the amous son$ :the impossi5le dream;
4hich has 5een co*ered 5y a e4 dierent artists, and this son$ seems to 5e a 5i$ actor or
the attitude chan$es o the characters, ma.in$ )on <ui6ote not seem so naF*e or such a mad
man7 Much o the son$s are repeated a e4 times throu$hout the play 5ut they chan$e a 5it,
4hether it 5e 4ho sin$s it or the conte6t it is sun$ in, such as :&ittle +ird, &ittle +ird,; 4hich 4as
ori$inally sun$ 5y <ui6ote or the 4oman he alls in lo*e 4ith, 5ut is later sun$ 5y the thu$s in a
moc.in$ tone, 4ith much more e6citement, and they end up assaultin$ her7
6) What did you ind out a5out the 5ac.$round o the 4or. or play4ri$ht? Hloo. it up on the
4e5I {899 4ords"
The play is 5ased o a 5oo. 4ritten 5y Mi$uel de Cer*antes in t4o parts, the irst in 8J95 and
the second in 8J85, called )on <ui6ote7 #e seems to e6plain the nai*ety or insanity o )on
<ui6ote Din the playE throu$h his o4n e6periences and moti*es, .ind o implyin$ that he 4ishes
to see the 4orld as does this character 4hich he created7 The musical 4as 4ritten 5y )ale
Wassermen, ori$inally as a non=musical teleplay in 89597 In 89J5 it 5ecame a +road4ay
production 4hich ran or o*er A999 perormances and 4on 5 Tony (4ards7
7) What choices do you thin. the )irector made a5out ho4 to present this perormance to the
audience? )o you a$ree 4ith that interpretation or could there ha*e 5een a 5etter 4ay?
{859 4ord minimum"
I eel that this rendition stayed @uite true to orm7 Kdith 3rossman, 4ho translated Cer*antes
5oo. to Kn$lish, said that there 4ere multiple interpretations and she elt the 5oo. 4as 5oth
*ery tra$ic and comedic7 I eel li.e the )irector didnBt try to ta.e it in his o4n direction, 5ut .eep
it as close to the ori$inal play and 5oo. as possi5le7 The 5oo. and play are already considered
masterpieces, 5asically, so IBm satisied 4ith the 4ay it 4as perormed, seein$ ho4 they didnBt
try to chan$e it up much and I donBt eel that they really needed to any4ays7
8) Would you recommend this perormance to others? Why or 4hy not? {899 4ords"
Les, I 4ould recommend this to others7 This play is considered one o the $reatest o all time
and it 5rin$s into @uestion ho4 4e see the 4orld and ho4 4e should see the 4orld, 4hich is
somethin$ that e*eryone should pro5a5ly ponder7
9) What 4as your personal reaction to this perormance? Would you en?oy attendin$ this type
o e*ent a$ain? Why or 4hy not? {899 4ords"
I personally li.ed the play7 I donBt li.e musicals much and IB*e ne*er really 5een interested in
them, 5ut this one 4as $ood and IBm $lad I 4ent7 I pro5a5ly 4ould en?oy attendin$ another
e*ent li.e this, as this one 4as @uite entertainin$, 5ut IBm not really the type that ?ust decides to
$o see a musical o*er the 4ee.end7 I someone in*ited me to $o to one, I pro5a5ly 4ould7