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Man of La Mancha
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Man of La Mancha

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  2,539 Ratings  ·  29 Reviews
Winner of the New York Drama Critics Award for Best Musical, 1966

"To me the most interesting aspect of the success of Man of La Mancha is the fact that it plows squarely upstream against the prevailing current of philosophy in the theater. That current is best identified by its catch-labels--Theater of the Absurd, Black Comedy, the Theater of Cruelty--which is to say the t
paper, 96 pages
Published October 12th 1966 by Random House (first published September 12th 1966)
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Mar 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2012
This is a musical play based on Miguel de Cervante's book Don Quixote. Mr. Wasserman's interpretation tells the story as a play within a play. It follows the man, Cervantes, as he awaits a hearing from the Spanish Inquisition. Cervantes and his co-prisoners act out a play about a half-baked knight, Don Quixote, through his fanciful adventures.

I see this as an interesting introduction to Don Quixote which I look forward to reading for "The Classics Club" I joined. I just wanted to dip my toes unt
Greg Kerestan
Feb 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
My Hispanic heritage isn't something I typically hold near and dear to my heart, as I feel it has had significantly limited impact on who and how I am as a person. Despite this, there are a few elements of the Spanish-speaking world in which I take great pride, and Miguel de Cervantes and his immortal Don Quixote will always command a place of high importance and sentiment in my heart. Dale Wasserman and Mitch Leigh created, not so much an adaptation, as a tribute to Quixote in the musical play ...more
Ana Mardoll
Dec 27, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ana-reviewed
Man of La Mancha / 0-394-40619-2

Though I find the Don Quixote story to be moving and meaningful, I am the first to admit that the full work of Cervantes can be incredibly daunting - not exactly light evening reading. "Man of La Mancha" has managed to perfectly distill the Don Quixote story into a short, heart-warming play that is, if possible, even greater than the source material.

Whereas, in the original, Don Quixote's ravings are regularly used as witty insight or satirical commentary, in "Man
Aug 25, 2007 rated it it was amazing
I kind of loved this when I read it high school--it was funny and sad and romantic and hopeful, and a heck of a lot easier to get through than Don Quixote itself (sorry, Miguel de Cervantes). I mean, it kind of has everything--adventure and intrigue and love and prison and prostitutes and the Spanish Inquisition...great stuff!
May 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
I read Don Quixote over a half century ago and it remains in my mind one of the most unusual and fascinating books that I have encountered. Since I will not read through it's 1,000+ pages again, I took the opportunity of reading this musical version as a reminder and was not dissapointed. In addition to Quixote's madness there was the addition of the "impossible dream" and other music added.
Apr 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This was the book from the play so it helps if you are familiar with the musical score and can play the tunes in your head.

Timeless and excellent story only made better if you know the history of Cervantes. We all pick and choose the reality that suits us best.
Don Gubler
Sep 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
Much shorter than Don Quixote and it has the lyrics for the songs in the musical. Nice little read.
Erik Graff
Mar 27, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Erik by: Einar Graff
Shelves: art
I'd read Cervantes' Don Quixote in junior high and heard the soundtrack of the musical numbers of Wasserman's work on WFMT radio, so, when offered tickets to its debut in Chicago's Auditorium Theatre, I enthusiastically accepted, excitedly inviting Rachel, the girl of my dreams from down the block, to the performance. She declined. Dejectedly, I invited Richard, my best friend, instead. He accepted.

The musical is, in part, an endorsement of emotion and idealism over reason and practicality. Natu
Apr 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: plays
Miguel Cervantes' classic novel "Don Quixote" was written over 300 years ago. "Man of La Mancha" was the musical adaptation of the story of a poor country squire who loves to read about the days of chivalry and knight-errants doing battle on behalf of their 'lady fair'. This stage vehicle took the highlights of Cervantes' story and brought it to life in a magical production that opened in 1965. The only thing missing here is the actual music itself, but all the song lyrics and on-stage dialogue ...more
Apr 15, 2010 rated it it was ok
My review comes from someone who knew nothing about the book before buying it. I only bought it because of course I've heard the names many times.

The book is actually a play for any of you, like me, that didn't know.

It is quite cute, funny and very short. I made it thru it and was slightly entertained.

Nov 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I read it as I was preparing to perform the play. I found it richly rewarding as a story and was thrilled to be able to read it over and over. One of the benefits of being an actor.I would like to read the entire work that this was based upon.
Aug 23, 2008 rated it it was amazing
"An idealist? Well, I've never had the courage to believe in nothing."
Jun 25, 2012 rated it liked it
Don, reminds me of some old people I have known.
Connie Barillas
Mar 04, 2008 rated it did not like it
I could not get through this book. The English was too old and too wordy. Loved the musical though!
Jul 03, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's a wonderful play, both minimalistic and lush. I would love to be part of the cast someday. That's probably a pipe dream.
Jun 27, 2011 added it
I read this years ago in High School and loved it. I suspect that I still would. Though it is a rather sad story.
Aug 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing
"And maddest of all, to see life as it is and not as it should be!" This is hands down, one of my favorites!
Kiersten Friesner
Jan 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Dec 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I love this story and it was wonderful to read it in play form. It went along with the 1972 movie so well and it's just my favorite musical!
Oct 21, 2008 rated it it was amazing
lovvvvvvvvve this book! much shorter than Don Quixote... one day I'll read it. [the entire book of Don Quixote that is]
Alicia C
Dec 23, 2015 rated it did not like it
Okay, so it's not like this book was bad. It was just a difference in opinion that made me hate it. I found the main character to be really annoying.
Felicia Latoya Brown
Sep 20, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: personal-library
One of my favorite musicals!
Nov 19, 2013 rated it liked it
Such a deep book, it got boring at times, for me anyways, but I teared up in the end (no, not cry, of course not--I was at school, it would be so uncool).
Feb 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Love this play and enjoy really being able to digest the words
rated it really liked it
Mar 06, 2017
Kim Carey
rated it it was amazing
Sep 06, 2014
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Sep 26, 2007
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Dale Wasserman was an American playwright.

His protagonists are a bit like Wasserman himself: raffish rebels, fiercely independent fools—poets, madmen and misfits—societal outcasts who defy authority and "tilt at windmills," reluctant heroes (sometimes anti-heroes), who are called upon to make some extraordinary sacrifice in order to protect or preserve their personal freedom or that of others.
More about Dale Wasserman...

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“Too much sanity may be madness — and maddest of all: to see life as it is, and not as it should be!” 331 likes
“It is the mission of each true knight...
His duty... nay, his privilege!
To dream the impossible dream,
To fight the unbeatable foe,
To bear with unbearable sorrow
To run where the brave dare not go;
To right the unrightable wrong.

To love, pure and chaste, from afar,
To try, when your arms are too weary,
To reach the unreachable star!

This is my Quest to follow that star,
No matter how hopeless, no matter how far,
To fight for the right
Without question or pause,
To be willing to march into hell
For a heavenly cause!

And I know, if I'll only be true
To this glorious Quest,
That my heart will lie peaceful and calm
When I'm laid to my rest.

And the world will be better for this,
That one man, scorned and covered with scars,
Still strove, with his last ounce of courage,
To reach the unreachable stars!”
More quotes…