A robust performance by Cygnet Theatre Artistic Director Sean Murray as Don Quixote invigorates the old warhorse, Man of La Mancha, at the Old Town Theatre. In the spell of love and that well-known impossible dream, Murray’s Cervantes/Quixote is the anchor for a gifted cast that includes David Kirk Grant and Bryan Barbarin (both seen in Cygnet’s stellar Parade), and Linda Libby and Katie Whalley (companionable in ion theatre’s Gypsy last year). A restrained overture performed by two guitarists sets in motion a production that is well costumed (design by Jeanne Reith) and staged on a set by Sean Fanning that facilitates ominous entrances from above, sword play and fighting muleteers.
If Erika Beth Phillips is operatic as Aldonza and numbers like Sancho Panza’s “A Little Gossip” filler, the anticipation of and reveling in “The Impossible Dream,” given its due by Murray, makes revisiting Man of La Mancha satisfying enough.
David L. Coddon is theater critic for San Diego CityBeat