man of la manchaNAVESINK – Tickets are available now for “Man of La Mancha” presented by the Stone Church Players over two weekends this month in the unique setting inside All Saints Episcopal Church.

Produced and directed by Michael McClellan  who co-founded the Players with Michael Hazlett, both of Atlantic Highlands, the musicals will be presented at 8 p.m. on June 17, 18 and June 24 and 25, with Sunday performances both weekends, June 19 and June 26, beginning at 2 p.m.

Reservations and tickets are available by calling 732-226-6131 and leaving a message for a return call.

Based on the book by Dale Wasserman, with music by Mitch Leigh and lyrics by Joe Darion, “Man of La Mancha” is the multiple Tony Award winning musical that tells the story of Don Quixote, Cervantes’ ‘mad knight’, as he awaits a hearing at the Spanish Inquisition.  Some of the most memorable musical moments from the play include “Impossible Dream,”  “Dulcenea”, and “I really like him.”

michael f mcclellanPHOTO: Michael f. McClellan

McClellan, who has been an art history professor at several different colleges, including Brookdale, said the Players’ presentations are a means of outreach to bring “incredible musical productions” to the area and carry productions to a new level. Declining to elaborate on some of the variations which make the Players’ presentation a step above many others, McClellan guaranteed there would be surprises and unique entertainment.

Converting the historic church into a theater is in itself an amazing production, both he and Hazlett agree, noting that a lighting director sets up the church’s interior to simulate a theater, with seating accommodations limited to 85 guests, ensuring an intimacy between actor and audience. A pit band provides the music and each of the actors portrays at least two or three roles among the cast of approximately 12 players.

Hazlett, who has been enamored of theater for more than 40 years, said “Man of La Mancha” was the first musical he had ever seen and “it stayed in my heart,” one of the reasons he is eager to bring it to All Saints. “It is the story of hope regained, and told in a beautiful manner with spectacular music.”