Saturday, May 10, 2008

Man of La Mancha

Turns out that The Gallery Players are men of La Mancha just as much as Cervantes. Imagination (not to mention determination and passion) has taken their revival of Man of La Mancha pretty far. Jennifer McCabe doesn't have a very good vocal bridge, which sometimes makes her Aldonza a bit nasal, but she still gives a damned good performance, bringing so much passion and sorrow to the role that you may find yourself begging to be her knight. And Jan-Peter Pedross may not look (he's a bit too composed) or sound (either flat or singing in a lower key) like the Don Quixote you imagined, but his needs are palpable, and his actions are clear. As for Robert Anthony Jones . . . well, he's exactly the sort of Sancho Panza you expect, but moreover, he's exactly the sort that you need; talented enough for two, his personality is enough to carry the show wherever it might sag. That the ensemble has a few weak voices isn't really a problem: Martin Andrew's ominous set so perfectly resembles a prison that I just assumed those were actually convicts and just accepted them as rowdy additions to the show. Tom Wojtunik's to be commended for making it too hard for me to tell the difference.

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