Thursday, May 07, 2009

Peoria Players Theatre

We took in our first show ever at Peoria Players Theatre this month, Man of La Mancha.

I had ordered tickets ($17 each) from their web site and paid online, so we stepped up to the ticket windows to pick them up prior to our show. One of the windows was being manned and a woman was picking up tickets, and the other was currently unmanned.
As soon as an employee stepped up to help the next customer, a woman who had just stepped up behind us blurted out that she needed to get her tickets right away, before they were given away. Sure, OK, and I'm standing here hoping that mine will be given away. But no worries, once her crisis was over and she had her tickets, ours were soon in hand and we stepped into the theatre to find our seats.

The seats were nicely upholstered and posh, perhaps a little too posh for a Sunday afternoon, as I became a bit drowsy sitting there.
The 16th century stone prison vault set was quite impressive, especially to my husband, who loves to create Halloween props each year.
Once the show began, there was no way I wanted to doze in the comfy seats, as I didn't want to miss any of the show.

Man of La Mancha is a musical that tells the story of the mad knight Miguel de Cervantes (Don Quixote).
This tax collector has been imprisoned by the Spanish Inquisition, along with his entertaining servant Sancho. They have brought all their possessions with them into the dungeon where they are attacked by their fellow prisoners who set up a mock trial. If found guilty, the knight will have to hand over all his possessions.
Cervantes falls for Aldonza, a kitchen maid he calls Dulcinea. He sends her a letter via Sancho, and the token she returns for him is an old dishrag, which he cherishes.
I was impressed with many of the musical numbers performed by the cast, my favorite probably being "Little Bird, Little Bird".
The casting was great, from Sancho to Don Quixote to the Duke, and we had a very enjoyable time. We've already discussed a couple of the upcoming 2009-10 season shows we would like to see.
Man of La Mancha continues through May 10. If you've been thinking about seeing it, I would suggest getting tickets a.s.a.p., as the showing we attended ended up being sold out.

Peoria Players, organized in 1919, is the oldest continuously running community theatre in the state. The theatre is located at 4300 N. University Street in Peoria.

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