The repertory theatre I periodically mention in this space is currently presenting "Man of La Mancha". Back in High School, back before I realized how bad I was at the clarinet, I was in marching band. And one of the pieces that has not yet been erased from my memory is "I, Don Quixote". I read Don Quixote in college, and I remember 'shimbleshanks' from reading it. Actually, more from the somewhat nutty prof that discussed the book afterwards.
The point is, I hadn't ever seen Man of La Mancha before, but I was somewhat prepared for it.
The director was a guy whose work I've seen before - he acts and directs, and is a remarkable talent in each capacity. The actor playing Sancho Panza is the regular actor who shows up in just about every show. He's the lifeblood of this theatre group, and he's magical in each role. Aldonza/Dulcinea was an actress I'd seen once before in a musical revue, according to her bio, but I can't say I remember her at all. She was terrifically cast - completely delivering both as a very strong singer and portraying a strong, weary woman, who somehow still was charmed by a crazy old man.
Excellent performances across the board - and this was one of the largest casts I've seen in a performance by this group (the other contender being Pirates of Penzance).
Ah, there's nothing like crazy old men, wrapped up in their illusions and idealism.