Following a sold-out engagement of Camelot in concert this past January, Palm Beach Dramaworks has announced the next two musicals in its new Musical Theatre Masters program. Man of La Mancha will kick off the summer series on Wednesday, July 10 and run through July 21, followed by Carousel Aug. 7-18 at the Don & Ann Brown Theatre in downtown West Palm Beach (201 Clematis Street). Directed by Clive Cholerton, the legendary musicals will play two weeks of performances.
“The response to Camelot exceeded our expectations,” Producing Artistic Director William Hayes said. “We discovered that audiences are delighted by our format because they get to see full-length versions of classic shows in a new way. There’s very little staging, minimal design and limited instrumental accompaniment. We really concentrate on the book, the music and the lyrics, and when you’re dealing with timeless shows like Camelot, Man of La Mancha and Carousel, there are vast rewards to be had by presenting these pieces in such an intimate setting.”
The Tony Award–winning Man of La Mancha is inspired by Miguel de Cervantes’s 17th-century masterpiece Don Quixote, about a madman and self-appointed knight errant who sets out to perform heroic deeds. With a book by Dale Wasserman, music by Mitch Leigh and lyrics by Joe Darion, the show takes place in a Seville prison where Cervantes is awaiting trial, and is performed as a play within a play. Man of La Mancha opened in 1965, ran for 2,328 performances, and has become one of musical theater’s most enduring works, with four Broadway revivals and countless productions all over the world. The show’s most famous song, “The Impossible Dream,” beautifully captures the piece’s message of hope. Caryl Fantel will serve as musical director.
Carousel (1945), the second show by the team of Richard Rodgers (music) and Oscar Hammerstein II (book and lyrics), was named the best musical of the 20th century by Time magazine. Based on Ferenc Molnár’s Liliom, a 1909 play about a ne’er-do-well carousel barker, Rodgers and Hammerstein changed the locale from Budapest to Maine and proceeded to write the most innovative and intricate show of their entire collaboration. The beautiful score includes standards such as “If I Loved You,” “June is Bustin’ Out All Over” and “You’ll Never Walk Alone.” Musical director duties will be handled by Paul Reekie.
Performances are scheduled Wednesdays through Saturdays at 8 p.m., with matinees on Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m. All general admission tickets cost $35. Student tickets cost $10, and group rates for 20 or more are also available.
The Don & Ann Brown Theatre is located in the heart of downtown West Palm Beach, at 201 Clematis Street. For ticket information, call the box office at (561) 514-4042, open Monday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., or visit the Palm Beach Dramaworks’ web site at www.palmbeachdramaworks.org.