The audience follows a tale woven by a prisoner to appease fellow cellmates so not to rob him. As a defense for a mock trial he entertains them with telling the tale of Don Quixote, de la Mancha, a man who, in modern day terms is a delusional player of a chivalrous knight in a world that recognizes his madness. Some are tolerant in pity, some are vicious, and a few buy into his world.
The complexity of jumping from the dungeon of the storyteller, to the world of Alonso Quijana, the man who recreates his reality to becoming Don Quixote, is handled by the powerful and functional set design by Dale Marushsy. The audience was not left asking itself, ‘okay, where are we?’ Nor is there any major shuffling of stage elements. The fearless knight could be atop his mount Rocinante riding the plains of la Mancha, or on his deathbed, without skipping a beat.
The characters drive this musical, and the professionalism of Rosebud continues to deliver year after year. Dave Snider stars as the crazed and sympathetic protagonist, while Giovanni Mocibob attacks his role as the almost as legendary Sancho Panza, with exuberance that has made him memorable in a number of Rosebud performances. Jodi Penner enlivens the tragic yet redeeming Aldonza. The rest of the cast shows versatility, easily transitioning from doctors and clergy to petty thieves and thugs.
The performance is tied together with a sextet of musicians that play much bigger than they are.
This summer’s theatre production enlists all the senses (this includes taste with the paella) and promises not to disappoint.