Tuesday, February 17, 2009

“The Impossible Dream” still possible

Mention “Man of La Mancha” to anyone and chances are he or she will start booming out “The Impossible Dream” -- verse after relentless verse. This breakaway hit, which was trotted out by nearly every baritone who could get himself booked on a variety show in the ’70s, has more or less eclipsed the classic 1965 musical from which it was spawned.

The song, however, is best appreciated in its dramatic context. And the great thing about Reprise Theatre Company’s production, which opened Sunday at the Freud Playhouse, is the loving way it attends to the story and its defense of imagination and unrealizable dreams. When you have literary source material this good — and Dale Wasserman’s book does a commendable job of framing and condensing Cervantes' epic novel “Don Quixote” — there’s really no reason to waste it.

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