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'Man of La Mancha'

The song "To Dream the Impossible Dream" has become part of the musical literature of Broadway. It encapsulates the hopes of Don Quixote as portrayed in the multiple Tony Award winning musical "Man of La Mancha" with music by Mitch Leigh, lyrics by Joe Darion and book by Dale Wasserman.

Camelot Theatre Company in Talent has chosen the show as the first musical of its 2007 season. "Man of La Mancha" will preview at 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 14, and Thursday, March 15, with tickets at $12.

Opening night will be at 8 p.m. Friday, March 16. The show will run at 8 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays through April 15. There will be a pay-what-you-can performance at 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 21.

The Broadway production won five Tony Awards including Best Musical, Best Composer and Best Lyricist, as well as the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Musical. "Man of La Mancha" is set in 16th century Spain and based on Cervantes' poignant novel "Don Quixote,"about a dying old knight with an impossible dream: to see things not as they are, but as they ought to be.

Camelot's Artistic Director Livia Genise directs, Karl Iverson provides musical direction and choreography is by Audrey Flint. "Man of La Mancha" features Don Matthews as Miguel De Cervantes/Don Quixote, Keith Fuller as Sancho Panza, Renee Hewitt as Aldonza/Dulcinea and Paul Jones as The Governor/Innkeeper.

A voice teacher and member of the music faculty at SOU, Matthews has appeared on stage at Camelot as Frederick Eggerman in "A Little Night Music," Lancelot in "Camelot" and Father in "Children of Eden." The NPR morning voice on The Classics and News Service, Matthews also has appeared in numerous Rogue Valley productions, including "South Pacific," "The Fantasticks," and "Our Town."

Keith Fuller is making his Camelot debut after more than 20 years as a musician. He has performed roles in "Godspell," "Fiddler on the Roof," "Little Shop of Horrors," "Christmas Tuna," "Elephant Man" and several others. He spends his days as "Kuzin Keith" on KRRM 94.7 FM.

A former Bay Area actress, Hewitt has been performing for more than 22 years from New York to LA. At Camelot she appeared as Annie Sullivan in "The Miracle Worker," Guenevere in "Camelot" and Lottie in "Enchanted April." She has also appeared in "A Little Night Music," "Master Class," Born Yesterday," "Carnival" and "Children of Eden." Hewitt recently wrote and starred in "Spotlight on Julie Andrews."

A retired theater arts professor, Jones has more than 100 acting roles to his credit. At Camelot he has played Beatty in "Fahrenheit 451," Ben Franklin in "1776," both Merlyn and Pellinore in "Camelot," Colonel Parker in "Judgment at Nuremberg" and has directed "The Dresser" and "The Heidi Chronicles."

Also in the cast of "Man of La Mancha" are Kristie Abart as the Housekeeper, Mark Barsekian as the Barber, Jamison Challeen as Pedro, Charles Cherry as Gonzago, Bart Grady as Juan, Mae Jeffs as Carmelita, Jeremy Johnson as Julio (and on guitar), Kathleen Kellenbeck as Antonia, Shannon McReynolds as Fermina, Dennis Nicomede as Paco, David Rees as the Captain of the Inquisition, Jack Seybold as the Padre, Leah Simon-Westreich as Rosalita, John Simutis as Anselmo, Merrill Smith as the Duke/Dr. Carrasco and Wendy Spurgeon as Maria.

Musicians in the orchestra pit Chris Matthews (percussion), George Arnall (trumpet and electric bass) join Karl Iverson (keyboards). Jeremy Johnson adds guitar from the stage.

The production team for "Man of La Mancha" includes stage manager Kaitie Warner, assistant stage manager Tara Watkins and Camelot's resident designers, costumer Emily Ehrlich Inget, set designer and master carpenter Don Zastoupil, lighting designer Bart Grady and sound designer Charles Cherry.

Tickets are $19 for adults and $17 for students and seniors. Tickets are available at the theater 1 to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and one hour before performances, at www.CamelotTheatre.org or call 535-5250.

Camelot Theatre Company will stage the adventures of the knight Don Quixote in the musical “Man of La Mancha.” - Photo by Steve Sutfin