March 2003 Film Music CD Reviews

Film Music Editor: Gary S. Dalkin
Managing Editor: Ian Lace
Music Webmaster Len Mullenger

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Man of La Mancha - The New Broadway Cast Recording  
Music by Mitch Leigh and Lyrics by Joe Darion
  Available on: RCA Victor 09026-64007-2  
Running Time: 52:12
Crotchet   Amazon UK   Amazon US

man of la mancha

Man of La Mancha is one of those musicals with just one generally perceived big hit tune and few are aware of anything else. But there definitely is more to this musical than just 'The Impossible Dream (The Quest)' sung here with ardour and conviction by Brian Stokes Mitchell as Cervantes/Don Quixote. (Man of La Mancha was based on Dale Wasserman's television plays of the late fifties - which ingeniously married the events of Cervantes' life with that of his great creation Don Quixote - with the added brilliant conceit of allowing music to enter the play with the awakening of the characters' imaginations.)

Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio (known more for film roles in movies like The Colour of Money and Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves) dazzles as Aldonza, sardonic but bemused and romantically aroused in 'What does he want of me?' then scornful, and wildcat-like when the scales fall from her eyes in 'Aldonza'.

Other numbers that run around in the head include: 'Dulcinea', the lovely trio, 'Little Bird, Little Bird' and 'I Really Like Him' plus the amusing 'Golden Helmet of Mambrino' when Quixote elevates a barber's shaving bowl to glory. With a doleful Ernie Sabella as Quixote's faithful, yet rueful squire, Pancho, a spirited and lusty production, colourful music and a vivid recording, this new Broadway production is a dream.

Ian Lace

***(*) 3

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