Onward to Glory with “Man of La Mancha”

By Michele Markarian

 

Man of La Mancha, by Dale Wasserman. Music by Mitch Leigh, Lyrics by Joe Darion.  Directed by Antonio Ocampo-Guzman.  Presented by New Repertory Theatre, 321 Arsenal Street, Watertown through December 31.

 

“Man of La Mancha” is based on the story of Miguel de Cervantes, one of Spain’s – and the world’s – most eminent authors. Cervantes was imprisoned many times over the course of his lifetime, usually for financial reasons, and managed to survive five years in captivity by pirates during his early military career. Throughout his captivity, his love for literature kept him going, setting the stage for his creation, Don Quixote, the nobleman who wishes to restore chivalry by becoming a knight in a world that’s decidedly harsh. With the help of a recruit, poor dumb farmer Sancho Panza, who serves as his squire, and his courtly love towards the lowly born Aldonza (renamed Dulcinea), Don Quixote attempts to live out his reality in his world where chivalry thrives.

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Love and Mercy in New Rep’s “The Gift Horse”

 

By Michele Markarian

 

The Gift Horse, by Lydia R. Diamond. Directed by Jim Petosa. Scenic Design by Jon Savage, Costume Design by Penney Pinette; Lighting Design by Alberto Segarra; Sound Design by Dewey Dellay. Presented by The New Repertory Theatre, 321 Arsenal Street, Watertown through May 14.

 

Ruth (Obehi Janice) is an energetic and engaging teacher and artist who is struggling to conceal, even from herself, a painful secret from her childhood. Once in college, she falls in love with, and then befriends, Ernesto (Alejandro Simoes), her gay neighbor. Ernesto and Ruth connect in all ways but one, but with Ernesto’s recommendation and support, Ruth is introduced to her therapist and future husband, Brian (Maurice Emmanuel Parent). Brian helps Ruth unravel the mystery of her inability to be intimate with a man, and despite Ernesto’s and Brian’s resistance to one another, they all manage to come together and create a different kind of family than the one Ruth grew up in.

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The Quixotic, Passionate Drive of Golda Meir

 

By Michele Markarian

 

‘Golda’s Balcony’ – Written by William Gibson. Directed by Judy Braha. Presented by the New Repertory Theatre, 321 Arsenal Street, Watertown through April 16.

 

Golda Meir was a fascinating character – passionate, driven, with a sense of personal destiny that was tied in to the “paradise” that she believed to be the State of Israel.  Her early childhood was spent in Kiev, where she remembered her father boarding the door with wooden planks to keep out the pogroms. The family emigrated to Milwaukee, where the young Golda heard Ben Gurion speak, which marked the beginning of her life as a warrior and champion for the burgeoning State of Israel.

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Davenport Artfully Celebrates the Life of Marshall in New Rep’s ‘Thurgood’

Johnny Lee Davenport as Thurgood Marshall (by Andrew Brilliant/Brilliant Pictures)

 

by Mike Hoban

 

Thurgood – Written by George Stevens, Jr.; Directed by Benny Sato Ambush; Scenic Design by Ryan Bates; Lighting Design by Bridget K. Doyle; Composer & Sound Designer, Dewey Dellay. Presented by New Repertory Theatre at the Black Box Theater at the Mosesian Center for the Arts, 321 Arsenal Street, Watertown through February 5th.

 
When New Rep artistic director Jim Petosa and managing director Harriet Sheets were formulating their theme for their 2016-2017 season “What’s Past is Prologue”, they could not have possibly known how disturbingly prescient that idea would be. Although I did not see the season’s opener “Regular Singing” (about a family coming together to celebrate the life of an aging relative on the fiftieth anniversary of the Kennedy assassination), the storylines of the past three productions have served to remind us that if we’re not careful, past could indeed become prologue.

 

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