3/9/2007 - HCAC: Man of La Mancha, A Musical Play


Teaneck New Theatre (TNT) - in association with The Hackensack Cultural Arts Center (HCAC) - will present Man of La Mancha as the opening production of its 21st season. The 1965 hit Broadway musical has a book by Dale Wasserman, lyrics by Joe Darion and music by Mitch Leigh. Man of La Mancha is directed by Hackensack resident Greg Liosi, with musical direction by Steve Banyra of Passaic. This audience favorite takes the stage at HCAC, 39 Broadway, Hackensack, on Fridays and Saturdays, March 9-24, at 8:00 p.m. and Sundays, March 11-25, at 3:00 p.m.

(click for poster)

Man of La Mancha won the Tony Award for Richard Kiley’s performance as Cervantes/Quixote and has had numerous Broadway revivals, most recently with Brian Stokes Mitchell in the title role. The tale: Miguel de Cervantes and his manservant, locked in a dungeon awaiting a hearing by the Spanish Inquisition, are attacked by fellow prisoners eager to steal Cervantes’ possessions. They decide to hold a mock trial and, if found guilty, Cervantes must hand over all his belongings. But Cervantes is resolute about keeping one thing—his cherished manuscript. What to do? If you’re Cervantes, you present your defense as a play-within-a-play. Then you transform yourself into knight-errant Don Quixote and (along with sidekick Sancho Panza) set out to roam the world and fight injustice. That’s just the prelude to an exhilarating series of adventures and an outstanding score that includes "Dulcinea," the title song "Man of La Mancha" and, of course, "The Impossible Dream."

Director Liosi has a personal reason for deciding to stage this musical. "When I was four years old my dad purchased a hi-fi system with ‘lifelike stereo sound’ and bought the soundtrack to Man of La Mancha. The system came with headphones, so I listened to the soundtrack over and over, singing the score and mimicking the instruments," explains Liosi. "Now," he says, "I will be directing my father in the very show he introduced me to almost 30 years ago." (Liosi, who’s a theater director and arts director of The Hackensack Cultural Arts Center, is directing his dad, George Liosi of Hackensack, in the role of governor/innkeeper.)

Heading the cast are Maywood’s Neil Kahn as Cervantes/Don Quixote, Union City resident Carlos R. Fernandez as manservant to Cervantes/Sancho Panza, and Lisa Garrabrant of Little Falls as the wench Aldonza/Lady Dulcinea.

Featured players include Oriana Barros (Fort Lee) as Antonia, Quixote’s niece; Gus Ferrari (Montclair) as the Duke, Antonia’s fiance; and Frank McDonnell (River Edge) as the padre. Additional cast members are Marilyn Kaplan (Teaneck), Fran Cassell (Carlstadt), Barbara Pernetti (Saddle Brook) and Harry Bates (New Milford).

Tickets for Man of La Mancha are $18; $16 for students, seniors and theatre parties of 10 or more. For reservations and information, call TNT at (201) 692-0200. For online ticket purchases and directions to the theatre, visit TNT’s web site at

Coming next from TNT: Lend Me a Tenor, a madcap farce by Ken Ludwig.