Man of La Mancha at the New Rep
Reviewed by Bobby Franklin
The New Rep Theatre’s current production of The Man of La Mancha directed by Antonio Ocampo-Guzman looked promising as the cast took the stage. It appeared it would be earthy and salty, but unfortunately, it did not turn out that way. I found this version to be disjointed and confusing. At times I wasn’t sure if it was reminiscent of a production done in Berlin in the 1920s or a Harvard Square coffee house in the 1960s. The transitions were choppy and it did not convey the edginess that it meant too.
Having the musicians playing instruments while acting their parts on a set that resembled backstage at a theater was a nice touch but the music was at many times tinny. Lead actor Maurice Emmanuel Parent who was superb in the Speakeasy Production’s Scottsboro Boys doesn’t seem able to quite settle into his role. I don’t think it is as much him as it is the material he is working with.
This is a production had a lot of potential, but it could be possible the director got too caught up in trying to send a message about the current state of politics today instead of letting the work be more subtle and allowing the audience to read into it their own interpretation.
Man of La Mancha
Through December 31st
New Rep Theatre
MAN OF LA MANCHA
BY DALE WASSERMAN
DECEMBER 1-24, 2017
New Repertory Theatre presents Man of La Mancha, December 1-24, 2017 in the MainStage Theater at the Mosesian Center for the Arts, 321 Arsenal Street, Watertown, MA. Music by Mitch Leigh, Lyrics by Joe Darion, original production staged by Albert Marre. Originally produced by Albert W. Selden and Hal James. Directed by Antonio Ocampo-Guzman. Music direction by David Reiffel. Movement Direction by Judith Chaffee.
“It has become a New Rep tradition during the holiday season to present a play that invites audiences of all ages to revel in this celebratory time of year,” says Artistic Director Jim Petosa. “This year we dream the impossible dream as we present the Tony-award winning musical Man of La Mancha. This classic musical adventure recounts the boundlessly idealistic tale of Don Quixote, epitomizing our season’s theme of resilience. We’re thrilled to bring this spirited revival to New Rep this winter.”
“New Rep is pleased to welcome so many new faces to our stage for our holiday production of Man of La Mancha,“says Managing Director Harriet Sheets. “Besides those joining us for the first time, we welcome back director Antonio Ocampo-Guzman and long-time collaborator Maurice Emmanuel Parent in the role of Don Quixote. Maurice’s presence on our stage over the years has been a highlight of many seasons, so we’re excited that he’s able to join us once again in this starring role.”
Tickets may be purchased by calling the New Rep Box Office at 617-923-8487 or visiting newrep.org.