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‘Man of La Mancha’ to play in December

Curtains Up Pagosa! (formerly Music Boosters) is in the final stages of preparation this month for the Dec. 12-15 production of “Man of La Mancha.”

A stellar cast, starring veteran performers Dave Armbrecht as Cervantes, Darcy DeGuise as Dulcinea, Jarret Heber as Sancho Panza, along with an impressive array of wonderful supporting actors and singers will bring their magic to the stage as they take us back in time.

The story of “Man of La Mancha,” based on a book by Miguel de Cervantes entitled “Don Quixote,” takes place in the 16th century during the Spanish Inquisition. Cervantes, along with his man servant, has been thrown into prison for mocking the Inquisition. While in jail he awaits trial, though still in possession of his belongings that include a trunk filled with costumes, stage makeup, props, and a prized manuscript. His fellow inmates confiscate his belongings and threaten to steal his precious manuscript. When he protests, they offer him a mock trial to determine whether or not he will be allowed to keep it.

In his own defense, Cervantes presents the play, “Don Quixote de la Mancha,” a story about an aging, slightly mad, country squire in La Mancha who has read too many novels about knights and chivalry and decides to become a knight-errant himself. He calls himself Don Quixote de la Mancha and his manservant becomes Sancho Panza. Together, they travel La Mancha in search of adventure and in defense of virtue. Cervantes engages his fellow inmates in helping him act out the play as he tells the story. What follows is a delightful, funny, ultimately touching tale.

“Man of La Mancha” features music that has a decisive Spanish flare and contains many recognizable tunes. One of its most memorable songs is “The Impossible Dream,” a song that depicts hope and courage even when fighting against all odds. Ironically, though Cervantes faces the Inquisition and possible death, he touches the lives of those who await the same fate and gives them hope.

As with all Curtains Up Pagosa! presentations, the cast will be supported by a live pit orchestra made up of local musicians. These trained musicians generously donate their artistic skills and their time to this important program that supports arts in the schools.

Curtains Up Pagosa!, a non-profit 501(c)3 organization, has been a part of the artistic life of Pagosa Springs since 1989, bringing high quality community musical theater performances to children and adults alike. The mission is to support youth through the performing arts and adult volunteer mentorship. Proceeds from productions and fund-raising events go towards scholarships for select students majoring in the arts, and to provide needed support for the performing and visual arts programs in the schools.

Tickets for “Man of La Mancha” will go on sale Dec. 1. For more information on tickets, or about how you can contribute time or financial support to Curtains Up Pagosa!, go to www.pagosamusicboosters.org.

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