Showing posts with label Jr.. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Jr.. Show all posts

Monday, April 17, 2023

Theatre Review: Man of La Mancha | Delaware Theatre Company

By Mike Logothetis
Theater reviewer Mike Logothetis grew up in North Wilmington, performing in school and local theater productions. He lives in Newark, but you can find him wherever the arts are good.

Delaware Theatre Company (DTC) closes its 43rd season with the excellent and heartwarming Man of La Mancha. Winner of five Tony Awards including Best Musical, Man of La Mancha features adventure, romance, and rousing classics like “The Impossible Dream” and “I, Don Quixote.” Set during the Spanish Inquisition, the titular Man of La Mancha embarks on an ambitious quest to right all wrongs in the world.

The show was written by Dale Wasserman with music by Mitch Leigh and lyrics by Joe Darion. It is skillfully directed by DTC Executive Director Matt Silva. Unique to DTC’s production, the sweepingly epic score is brought to life by the performers themselves – all actor/musicians who play their instruments live on stage. Simply stated, they are masters of their substantial crafts.

The opening number (“Prison Scene”) exhibits the cast’s vast range of musical, vocal, and acting chops on a magical set designed by Chris Haig. The setting is a dungeon with articulating stage parts, platforms, stairs, entryways, and steaming floor gates. Literally, the stage is set for an epic theatrical adventure.

And DTC’s Man of La Mancha delivers in a grand way. The story is captivating, the pacing is tight, the acting is superb, and the music is timeless. The company had the audience in the palm of its collective hand, delivering a great Opening Night performance.

When Miguel de Cervantes (Scott Langdon) and his manservant (Victor Rodriguez, Jr.) are thrown into the dungeon by the Spanish Inquisition, doom pervades the scene. Their fellow prisoners attack the newcomers and are eager to steal the contents of a large trunk Cervantes has brought with him. However, a sympathetic criminal known as “the Governor” (Nichalas Parker) suggests setting up a mock trial instead. Only if Cervantes is found guilty will he have to hand over his possessions. Cervantes immediately pleads guilty, but then asks if he may offer a defense in the form of a play, acted out by him and all the prisoners. The “Governor” agrees, and the prisoners watch Cervantes transform into Alonso Quijana – an old gentleman who has read so many books of chivalry and thought so much about injustice that he has lost his mind and set out as a knight-errant. Quijana renames himself “Don Quixote de La Mancha” and goes off to find adventures with his squire, Sancho Panza. The pair tilt at windmills and later take refuge at an inn Quixote swears is a castle.

Langdon and Rodriguez portray Don Quixote and Sancho Panza with prowess. Quixote’s wobbly knee and shattered mind is captured beautifully by Langdon with his powerful stage presence and voice. The role is difficult because the actor must inhabit a political prisoner playing an old man believing he is a chivalric knight. Langdon deftly shifts from mindset to mindset plus delivers superb singing in solo and ensemble pieces. The wonderful physical humor and sincerity Rodriguez imbues into Panza is matched only by his soaring vocals. To quote a line from Panza in the show, “I like him.”

Of course, any great quest must have a damsel and Sierra Wilson towers in her portrayal of Aldonza/Dulcinea. Don Quixote sees the inn’s serving wench and part-time prostitute Aldonza and declares that she is his lady, Dulcinea, to whom he has sworn eternal loyalty (“Dulcinea”). Aldonza is confused and annoyed by Quixote’s persistence but comes around to his kindness by providing him a token of her esteem – an old dishrag. Wilson tempered her powerful voice when required and raised it to stratospheric heights in moments of passion. She commanded you to watch her whenever she was on stage.

Back in the story, Don Quixote’s niece has gone with his housekeeper to seek advice from the local priest, who realizes that the two women are more concerned with the embarrassment Quijana’s madness may bring them than with his actual welfare (“I’m Only Thinking of Him”). Self-serving people want to return Quijana to his home, end the charade of Quixote, and have the old man quietly live out the rest of his life.

What happens to Quixote, Quijana, and Cervantes
plus the ancillary characters on stage  won’t be revealed herein. Suffice it to say there are epic battles, both verbal and physical; personal growth; and hope springing from despair. I can say with confidence that many theatergoers will be humming “The Impossible Dream” walking out through the lobby after the curtain drops.

Other highlights of the show include Josh Totora’s performance of “Barber’s Song” as a one-man band; the four-man guitar-playing arrangement (with percussion) during “Little Bird, Little Bird”; the brilliant effects during “Knight of the Mirrors”; and the overall motion of the action. Kudos to director Silva for keeping things dynamic on stage with insightful physical instructions for his players.

The performance schedule of Man of La Mancha is: Wednesdays (2:00pm), Thursdays (7:00pm), Fridays (8:00pm), Saturdays (2:00pm & 8:00pm), and Sundays (2:00pm) through April 30. Tickets start at $29 while discounts are available for students, groups, and military members/veterans. The show is roughly two-and-a-quarter hours long with one 15-minute intermission. There will be pre-show Viewpoints on Wednesdays at 1:15pm during the run plus talkbacks after Thursday performances. Call (302)594-1100 or visit to purchase tickets or for performance information. Delaware Theatre Company is located at 200 Water Street in Wilmington.

My advice is to “sit aquí” at DTC and enjoy the show!

Monday, October 14, 2019

National Portrait Gallery to Feature Selected Works from Pre-Raphaelite Collection

The content of this post comes from a previous press release from the Delaware Art Museum...

Found by Dante Gabriel Rossetti.
File courtesy of Delaware Art Museum.
A major new exhibition in London showcasing the women who shaped the Pre-Raphaelite movement will include four pieces from the Delaware Art Museum. 

In the 1880s, American textile mill owner Samuel Bancroft, Jr. was “shocked with delight” upon viewing a painting by Dante Gabriel Rossetti. The Wilmington industrialist purchased his first Rossetti oil painting, Water Willow, around 10 years later. By the time of his death in 1915, Bancroft had amassed what is now the largest and most significant Pre-Raphaelite collection outside the United Kingdom.

In 1935, Bancroft’s family donated his entire collection to what is now the Delaware Art Museum, along with 11 acres of land on Kentmere Parkway to construct a museum.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Delaware Historical Society Series on African-American Leaders Continues

The Delaware Historical Society’s Center for African American Heritage announces its October Voices of the Elders program, highlighting the life and career of Mayor George C. Wright, Jr. 

Throughout 2015, the Voices of the Elders series has documented and shared the stories of a prominent African American leaders in Delaware through short films and mini-exhibitions. Past elders featured in this series have included Esthelda Parker Selby, Dr. Joseph E. Johnson, Canon Lloyd Casson and the late James H. Gilliam, Sr. The series will conclude on December 10, 2015.

George C. Wright, Jr. has a long history of service in the State of Delaware. He became the first African American to be elected mayor when he became the Mayor of Smyrna in 1982. Mayor Wright held the office of Mayor until 1995 when he decided not to run for another term. Before becoming mayor, he served on the Smyrna Town Council for six terms, beginning in 1969. Mayor Wright also acted as the executive director of the Delaware League of Local Governments and was the chief of staffing for civilian personnel at the Dover Air Force Base from 1956-1989.
On Thursday, October 22, there will be a reception beginning at 5:30pm, followed by a film screening and program at 6:30pm. The event will be held in the Copeland Room of the Delaware History Museum, at 504 N. Market Street in downtown Wilmington. Free parking is provided by Colonial Parking in the 6th and Shipley Street lot.

Reservations are required and can be made by calling (302) 655-7161 or emailing

This program is a collaboration between the Delaware Historical Society’s Center for African American Heritage, WITN22, and the Wilmington City Council.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Wowing Us on Wednesdays in Wilmo

By Guest Blogger, Ken Grant
Ken Grant has worked in Delaware media, politics and marketing for 25 years. He and his Lovely Bride enjoy Wilmington's arts and culture scene as much as they can.

Wilmo Wednesdays host Melissa Bernard
Here’s a solid Wilmo recipe: Start with a cool venue. Add one comedian and a variety of talented musicians in different styles, mix in an energetic crowd. When done correctly, this concoction yields one great evening of entertainment.

On August 5, Gable Music Ventures cooked up this eclectic blend of talent as part of Wilmo Wednesday at World Café Live at the Queen. Melissa Bernard does an excellent job of entertaining while the acts set up and tear down, making connections with the audience and keeping the evening on track.

Unskilled Labor
NOTE: This is not an open mic night — the evening is a curated showcase of talent from all over the mid-Atlantic  region.  Davey Dickens, Jr., sounds like a cross between Steve Earl and John Prine — an interesting blend of hard-edge country with laid-back folk.  Nave, on the other hand, brought a sophisticated hip-hop performance to the stage.  Gable's own Jeremy Hebbel went beyond his musical talent and shared a part of his soul with the audience.

Then there’s the talent of youth — from Unskilled Labor, consisting of high school students from Delaware All-State Band playing a fusion-rock sound 
Danielle Cuoco
that had many in the audience in awe, to Danielle Cuoco, a 15-year-old who seems ready to take on the music world with gusto — we saw a glimpse of what the future of music can look like, and it is good. Wilmo Wednesday is a place for musicians to connect with audiences in a casual, intimate setting and for audiences to enjoy a variety of talent, from the genres they already enjoy to some they are learning to appreciate.