Dreaming the impossible dream againThis year marks the 400th anniversary of the publication of “Don Quixote,” the masterpiece of Spain’s most beloved classic writer, Miguel Cervantes, and in modern times the tale has been recreated in ballet, films, musicals, plays and even opera. To celebrate this milestone, the Korean version of the musical “Man of La Mancha” is being performed at the National Theater this month.
This year also marks the 40th anniversary since the musical was first staged on Broadway, and since then it has won five Tony awards. The story is centered on the idealistic Don Quixote, who dreams of a bygone age when knights rescued damsels in distress and fought wars against supernatural creatures. It is filled with wit, wisdom and insight into life, and the conflict between the ideal and reality.
The most famous song from the musical is “The Impossible Dream,” which has been interpreted by numerous singers, including Elvis Presley and Andy Williams. The lyrics epitomize everything about Don Quixote: his unwavering idealism and willingness to battle against the odds.
The story is essentially about a disillusioned man daydreaming across the country, as if in a trance, struggling to find his identity in a world that has forgotten the virtues of the past.
Written by Dale Wasserman with music by Mitch Leigh, the musical’s Korean version was produced by an American choreographer, David Swan. Veteran theater actor Kim Seong-gi plays the title role, while Kim Jae-man plays his faithful manservant Sancho Panza.
by Choi Jie-ho
“Man of La Mancha” will be performed at the National Theater until Aug. 28. Ticket prices range from 30,000 won to 90,000 won. Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, and at 4 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on Wednesdays and weekends. No performances on Mondays or on Aug. 16. For more information, call (02) 501-7888 or visit www.lamancha.co.kr.