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Camelot dreams the impossible dream

Camelot Theatre Company opens "Man of La Mancha," the first musical of its 2007 season. The winner of 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 a dungeon in Seville at the end of the 16th century and in various places in the imagination of Miguel de Cervantes.

Based on Cervantes' "Don Quixote," with music by Mitch Leigh, lyrics by Joe Darion and a book by Dale Wasserman ("One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest"), "Man of La Mancha" is one of the great theatre successes of our time. The poignant story of a dying old man with an impossible dream: to see things not as they are, but as they ought to be, "La Mancha" contains songs such as "Dulcinea" and "The Impossible Dream" that will remain with you long after you've seen the show.

"Escape has seldom seemed so sweet. A magical triumph." &

L.A. Times. "The kind of play that reminds you of why you love theatre."

-- Hartford News.

"Man of La Mancha" is directed by Camelot's artistic director Livia Genise, with musical direction by Karl Iverson and choreography by Audrey Flint. A former Broadway actress, Genise has directed "1776," "Beard of Avon," "The Sisters Rosensweig," "Judgment at Nuremberg," "Children of Eden," "Camelot," "I'm Not Rappaport," "Annie" and "Oliver" at Camelot and has starred in "A Little Night Music," "The Heidi Chronicles," "Master Class," "The Music Lesson," "Zorba!" "The Wisdom of Eve," as well as Spotlights on The Andrews Sisters, Billie Holiday, Patsy Cline and Bonnie Raitt.

"Man of La Mancha" stars 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.

Currently a voice teacher and member of the music faculty at SOU, Matthews starred 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 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. Fuller has earned acclaim for 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 over 22 years from New York to LA. At Camelot, Hewitt starred 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 college Theatre Arts professor, Jones has over 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 Chris Matthews (percussion), George Arnall (trumpet and electric bass) join Karl Iverson (keyboards) in the orchestra pit. Jeremy Johnson adds guitar from the stage.

Chris Matthews has played for a wide variety of groups throughout the Rogue Valley, including two musicals at Camelot: '1940's Radio Hour', and '1776'. He is a senior Music Performance major at SOU studying with Terry Longshore.

George Arnall has been playing trumpet for 14 years. He studied trumpet and Music Education at SOU and with Larry Hudson and Bruce Dresser. Arnall has also played bass for 7 years, and studied with Jenny Nickles and David Drury.

Karl Iverson is a senior majoring in music composition at SOU. This is his debut as Musical Director at Camelot after being in the pit or on stage for "Zorba," "Children of Eden," "Carnival," and multiple duties for "Beard of Avon" and in the on-stage band for "1940&

180;s Radio Hour."

Jeremy Johnson was last seen as Cinderella's prince in "Into the Woods" but prior to that he played Henley in "Fahrenheit 451" and Josiah Bartlett in "1776".

The production team for "Man of La Mancha" include stage manager Kaitie Warner, asst. 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.

"Man of La Mancha" previews March 14 and 15 at 8 p.m., opens March 16 and runs through April 15. All Thursday, Friday and Saturday performances are at 8 p.m. and all Sundays at 2 p.m., with a special Pay-What-You-Can performance on Wednesday, March 21 at 8 p.m. Reservations are recommended. Tickets are $12 for previews. All other regular performances are $17 for students and seniors and $19 for Adults.

Tickets are available in person or by phone through the Camelot box office, located at the corner of Talent Ave and Main St in Talent. Box Office hours are Monday through Saturday from 1-5 p.m. and one hour before performances. To reserve tickets, call the Camelot Theatre Company Box Office at 535-5250. Online reservations are also accepted at .