The worldwide classic theatrical production, Man of La Mancha, returns to China for a fantastic 40 performance run in Beijing this holiday season. From November 28 through January 20 at the Nine Theater, this charming musical fable of hope, love and dreams will delight audiences, performed in English with Chinese subtitles by Seven Ages Production.
Internationally regarded director and actor Joseph Graves was selected by composer Mitch Leigh to lead the Chinese premiere, a talent who has personally starred in the lead role for more than 1,000 performances. Graves directs a cast of 22, all of whom have been rehearsing since early October for their holiday performance schedule. “I love China and I love Man of La Mancha,” says Graves. “Being able to help bring together those two great loves of mine is a thrilling opportunity for me.”
Character Don Miguel De Cervantes and his trusty servant, Sancho, are imprisoned, threatened by an impending death sentence as well as by greedy fellow inmates. In order to win over the prisoners, together they all enact Cervantes’ comedic literary masterpiece, Don Quixote – a play within a play mirroring the real-life story of Cervantes himself. Man of La Mancha answers the eternal question of whether impossible dreams can really ever come true – yes, they can!
“The book, they lyrics of the songs, and the splendid music are completely integrated to be both terrifically funny and deeply moving at the same time,” says Graves. “The ideas of hope, love and the possibility of making dreams a reality are thoughts and themes which resonate universally across cultures and languages.”
Opening on Broadway in 1965, Man of La Mancha celebrated a five-year initial engagement of 2,329 performances, garnered 5 Tony awards and was made into a film adaptation staring Peter O’Toole and Sophia Lauren. Over the next 40 years, Man of La Mancha became a worldwide theatrical classic, reaching over 40 countries in 30 different languages. The signature song “The Impossible Dream” has been recorded by over 100 renowned singers.
“The show is appropriate for children 12 and up,” states Graves. “I would consider it family-friendly since it is a comedy and a story-driven piece, but it takes place in a prison [and younger children]might find its themes and ideas a bit hard to follow.”
Performances will be every Wednesday through Sunday, from 7:30-9:30pm. Ticket prices range from RMB 50 (student) to RMB 880. A special family discount offered is for the purchase of two tickets at RMB 280 or more, the family receives an extra ticket at the same level for free. Call 400-028-2577 for tickets.
Man of La Mancha: book by Dale Wasserman, lyrics by Joe Darion, music by Mitch Leigh, produced by Yang Jiamin directed by Joseph Graves.
Nine Theater 9个剧场
Jingguang Center and Hujialou 京广中心呼家楼
Chaoyang District Culture Center, 17 Jintai Xili, Xiaozhuang, Chaoyang District