Impossible Musical: The "Man of la Mancha" Story

Overview

(Applause Books). Man of La Mancha is arguably the most popular musical drama of all time, most recently on Broadway starring Brian Stokes Mitchell. Dale Wasserman, however, had more trouble getting it on to a Broadway stage than Don Quixote ever had with those damn windmills. For centuries, writers all over the world had tried to stage Cervantes' comic masterpiece, and all had failed. On a sabbatical to Spain in the late 1950s, screenwriter-stage director Dale Wasserman had the insight to change that Don Quixote the novel was too rambling to be
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More About This Book

Overview

(Applause Books). Man of La Mancha is arguably the most popular musical drama of all time, most recently on Broadway starring Brian Stokes Mitchell. Dale Wasserman, however, had more trouble getting it on to a Broadway stage than Don Quixote ever had with those damn windmills. For centuries, writers all over the world had tried to stage Cervantes' comic masterpiece, and all had failed. On a sabbatical to Spain in the late 1950s, screenwriter-stage director Dale Wasserman had the insight to change that Don Quixote the novel was too rambling to be dramatized, but the almost equally incredible story of the novel's creator wasn't. Wasserman wrote, first, a tv drama of Man of La Mancha (Cervantes is the Man, not Quixote, by the way), which David Susskind produced as "I, Don Quixote." What happened next, and for the next several decades, to this remarkable drama is an incredible drama in its own right. Many writers tried to get Wasserman to contribute to an "official" account of the making of Man of La Mancha , but Wasserman knew he was the only writer who both knew all the facts, all the facets, and would eventually get around to writing the story as it should be written, as both a "making of" and a "commentary on the state of" story. From the Costa Del Sol to Hollywood, Broadway and beyond, with a host of spectacular people, including Ava Gardner, Colleen Dewhurst (whom Wasserman discovered for La Mancha ) and John Huston, this is the full story of Man of La Mancha , before Broadway and beyond. Included is the full script of the original TV version, "I, Don Quixote."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781557835154
  • Publisher: Hal Leonard Corporation
  • Publication date: 12/15/2003
  • Pages: 360
  • Sales rank: 999,189
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 1.05 (d)

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 23, 2003

    'Impossible' but True

    I first saw 'Man of LaMacha' in the 'rickety-rackety theater on E. 4th St.' on its first or second night of previews. I had convinced several friends to come to it based on my unabashed fandom for Richard Kiley, its star. As usual when you convince people to do something they hadn't planned on, I was as much concerned with their reaction as I was with my own. This was impossible to ascertain before the end of the show, as the play had no intermission. I needn't have worried. When the lights came on at the end, I looked down the row and saw all my cohorts, male, female, and everything in between, blubbering like babies and raving about the show (this was fortuitous, as it happens, because we were seated directly in front of Kiley's wife!). When the show finally 'opened' officially, it was creamed by a majority of critics, Indeed, Edwin Newman, on NBC, took especially malicious pleasure in ridiculing this 'idiotic' song about 'Dreaming impossible dreams'. Needless to say, I've had a love for the show ever since. Now, at last, finally, and about time too, we get the full story of its creation from its main inceptor, Dale Wasserman. From its early incarnation as 'I, Don Quixote' on TV to its world-wide success, the story of how, who, where, and why, with all its charm... and all its problems is just as exciting, and just as brilliantly told, as the original.

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