“Facts are the enemy of truth!” cries Don Quixote, played brilliantly by actor Gabe Belyeu in the Mac-Haydn Theatre’s latest theatrical release, Man of La Mancha.
In today’s political climate, there’s much debate over what are the “facts” and “truth”. We often find ourselves living in completely different worlds and realities of family and co-workers.
Gabe Belyeu Photo: Ann Kielbasa
Don Quixote lives in his own reality. He’s a knight in Spain, when there have been no knights in Spain for over 300 years. He believes that the local “strumpet”, Aldonza, is his fairest lady and renames her ‘Dulcinea’ (played beautifully by Maya Cuevas).
Sancho Panza (played by Anthony Velez), Don Quixote’s servant, admits that he goes along with the charade because he “likes him”. Velez is a charming addition to this year’s cast and plays a fun and sprite Panza.
The characters of Man of La Mancha are realistic, broken, and sometimes flawed. The actors connect you emotionally and deeply with each one, letting you feel “all the feels” of this play.
Don Quixote’s version of reality is quite better than reality itself. He lives by such a strong set of noble principles, that we begin to question, is he crazy, or he is really the smart one – is he “the maddest wise man or the wisest mad man?”
Call nothing thine except thy soul.
Love not what thou art, only what thou may become.
Do not pursue pleasure…or thou mayest have the misfortune to overtake it.
Look always forward.
In last year’s nests…there are no birds this year.
Be just to all men, courteous to all women.
Live in the vision…of the one for whom great deeds are done..
– Don Quixote, Man of La Mancha
He wields a crooked sword and battles windmills – thinking they are ogres. He dreams the “Impossible Dream”. But yet, you cannot help but wonder if you are living your own life as passionately, and by the same grand ideals, as that of a madman.
This is a wonderful and moving play – rush to see it before September 5th!
Have a great time in Chatham!
Anthony Velez, Gabe Belyeu, and Maya Cuevas
Photo: Ann Kielbasa