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Amish Acres




Man of La Mancha

Aldonza (Stephanie Garza), Don Quixote
(Dirk Lumbard)and Sancho (Jerry O'Boyle)

'Impossible Dream' takes
Nappanee by storm

June, 2000
Jeri Seely, Editor
The Paper

"The Quest" more popularly known as "The Impossible Dream," has become the signature song of the musical Man of La Mancha, and I have never heard it sung better and with more passion than by Dirk Lumbard, a Broadway veteran, who has returned to the Round Barn Theatre at Amish Acres to play Miguel de Cervantes y Saavedra and the hero his mind created, Don Quixote. This solo brought a rousing round of applause from the audience as the curtain fell on the first act the night I attended the production. A reprise sets the stage for the second act.

Lumbard is remembered by many for the time he spent in Nappanee in 1997 for playing the part of Professor Harold Hill in The Music Man. His return in Man of LaMancha is well deserving of the standing ovation given at the close of the evening's performance.

Cervantes and his faithful Sancho (Jeremy Littlejohn - also played by Jerry O'Boyle) have been tossed in "prison in the city of Seville, Spain, at the end of the 16th century and await the inquisition. It is a time when people were burned at the stake for heresy. While there, they are tried by fellow prisoners and Cervantes, who claims to be an idealist, a bad poet, an an honest man, puts his imagination to use as his defense.

He becomes Don Quixote, knight-errant and is off with Sancho to conquer the evil of the world. Arriving at an inn, that he is sure is small castle, Quixote falls in love with Aldonza (Stephanie Garza), a serving wench whose life is not all that it could be. He declares she is his Dulcinea and refuses to believe her true station in life.

Littlejohn makes the perfect Sancho. He is loyal to his master. He is funny and knows how to put the most into his solo numbers, "I Really Like Him," and "A Little Gossip."

Garza's Julliard School of Music trained voice is the perfect compliment to Lumbard's. She is quickly becoming a favorite of the Round Barn Theatre audiences and is a true jewel to the productions in which she appears. Her solo in the reprise of "The Quest" is well favored.

Rick Dakota Hart makes some quick changes in this production...he is the Barber, an interesting character who will give a man a shave or cure his ills. His solo of "Barber's Song" deserves praise. He is also one of the Muleteers and one of the horses.

Sam Brown is Carrasco, fiancé of Cervantes' niece Antonia (Andrea DiGregorio). The couple are great. DiGregorio joins the Padre (Scott Saegesser) and the Housekeeper (Ana Posey) to sing, "I'm Only Thinking of Him." Brown joins Quixote and the ensemble in "Knight of the Mirrors," a song and a scene that Amish Acres audiences will long remember. If Lumbard's "The Quest," takes command of the first act, "Knight of the Mirrors" takes command of the second.

A tip of the hat to Jason Lawergren, the governor in prison and the innkeeper in Don Quixote's quest for knighthood. He does a brilliant job.

The actors who comprise the Muleteers deserve a big round of applause...they do a superior job. Neil Michaels is Pedro, head of the Muleteers and "Little Bird," soloist; Jacob Medic is Anselmo, "The Abduction" soloist; Tim McCormick is Tenorio; Jim Beck is the "Little Bird," guitarist and soloist; and Pete Wehle is a Muleteer and a resident company member.

A tip of the hat to Ike Foust, the captain of the inquisition; Jennfier L. Weaver, Maria and the Innkeeper's wife; Jennifer Grace, Fermina; and Robert Geils, a prisoner.

The musical is not only full of beautiful songs, there is plenty of laughter as well.

While the set is simple, a prison, it is complex. The stairway to where the inquisitions are held is opened and shut with what appear to be large chains holding it in place. The captain and his officers deliver their prisoners to the holding area via this entrance and haul others off the the inquisitions via the same path.

Don't miss Man of LaMancha which is currently playing in repertory with Plain & Fancy and Triumph of Love. Performances will be presented through July 2. Check the box office for the schedule.

  2006 Round Barn Theatre Season
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Plain and Fancy
April 18 - October 28

Forever Plaid
May 3 - June 4

Bye Bye Birdie
June 13 - July 23

August 1 - September 10

Fiddler on the Roof

September 19 - October 29

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November 7 - December 31

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