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Man of La Mancha

Recommended

The 5th Avenue Theatre Downtown
Tuesdays-Sundays. Continues through Oct. 30 2016

$29-$101

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Recommended by Rich Smith

In the 1972 film adaptation, Peter O'Toole as Cervantes/Quixote stomps around a dusty landscape of his imagining with Wite-Out in his beard and a wizard hat on his head. But the 5th Avenue Theatre's production of this musical is different. Sad-different, but good sad. Or at least challenging-sad. Director Allison Narver sets her Man of La Mancha in what looks like a contemporary black site crossed with a dungeon. A stories-high chain-link fence topped with razor wire reaches up to the rafters, recalling maximum-security prisons. Tall slabs of cement resembling the West Bank barrier form a wall across the stage. There's also medieval-looking, solitary jail cells the inmates wheel around, and every so often a guard disappears one of the prisoners. The audience looks at this historical/contemporary/futuristic dungeon for the whole two-hours-with-no-intermission show. (Get it? Everyone is in prison. Sort of.) This is common staging for the show, and it emphasizes the story's main theme of the imagination's world-altering powers, but scene designer Matthew Smucker's postmodern incarceration hodgepodge suggests that storytelling might transport you outside prison walls, but it's not enough to knock them down.

Read more from Rich Smith's review, "Man of La Mancha at the 5th Avenue Offers a Surprisingly Trenchant Social Critique"

The 5th Avenue Theatre

1308 Fifth Ave, Seattle, WA 98101
206-625-1900
https://www.5thavenue.org

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This event is in the past.
  • Tuesdays-Sundays. Continues through Oct. 30 2016
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