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A quixotic performance at Peabody

Image courtesy of Peabody Opera House's Facebook

Image courtesy of Peabody Opera House’s Facebook

“If not you then who, if not now then when,” says actor Jack Curenton as he plays Don Quixote, the lead of “Man of La Mancha.” After 30 very successful years of pursuing his business goals, Curenton has now put on 80 shows and numerous TV show roles and commercials. With his return to Broadway, Curenton now does his best to live by the words of Don Quixote.

“Man of La Mancha” is a musical based on the renowned novel “Don Quixote” by Miguel Cervantes. The Peabody Opera House hosted the Broadway Tour of “Man of La Mancha” Feb. 8 through Feb.10.

The story follows an old man, Don Quixote, who has lost grip on reality and decides to become a knight though he lacks the confidence and family line to actually pursue the dream. The cast did an extraordinary job transitioning back and forth from the dudgeons of the Spanish Inquisition to the story of Don Quixote, the knight. The two actors who played the horse were hilarious, adding a confident comedic aura along with a welcomed juxtaposition in more serious scenes.

Curenton was remarkable and led the show wonderfully. Jessica Norland and Rick Grossman were perfect playing Aldonza and Sancho. Norland was more and more fabulous with every scene portraying the capacity of change and acceptance.

Don Quixote’s madness is precisely what sheds hope on life by inspiring people to be the best version of them self. This rendition of Cervantes’s masterpiece combines both light humor and an honest view on life. A scene that captures both humor and honesty of the show is “I am Only Thinking of Him.” Sung by the niece, this song is filled with insightful moments that help explain the characters. The niece is too worried about her delusional uncle’s affect on her reputation while the housekeeper shares her secret love of the uncle. Also, the future son-in-law has his eyes on the potential inheritance and the priest is trying to keep up his appearances.

Jack had the dream of acting since 1965 after his parents brought back a recording of “Oliver.” He never gave up on his dream and now shares that aspiring actors need to be proactive, searching for auditions and having a professional job profile.

“When auditioning, be the best you can be and change whatever the director wants you to – they just want to see if you can take direction – because you never know what they want,” said Curenton.

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