'Man of La Mancha' Tops 2018 Westport Season

The musical "Man of La Mancha" will be one of the highlights of the 2018 season at Westport Country Playhouse. The musical will continue the programming of musicals at the theater that in the past few years has seen "Camelot" and "Into the Woods" on its stages.

Artistic director Mark Lamos will stage the show, based on Cervantes’ sweeping masterpiece, which will run Sept. 25 to Oct 13 .

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Side note: The show had its world premiere at Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam in the last '60s. Long Wharf Theatre also featured a production of the show in 2007, Goodspeed revived the show in 2000  and Ivoryton Playhouse presented it last year.

The Westport season, which now begins in late May and continues to late fall, will open with Pearl Cleage's "Flyin' West," directed by Secret Scott. The show will run May 29 to June 16. Set in 1898, the story centers on the all-black town of Nicodemus, Kansas which offers a refuge for many former slaves. The play is described: "At one homestead lives a family of courageous women determined to make a place for themselves. They overcome tremendous odds in a heroic effort to escape the scars of the past in this uplifting story of bravery, pride, and sisterhood."

 David Ives. Photo by Frank Rizzo.

David Ives. Photo by Frank Rizzo.

Following will be a new adaptation by David Ives of George Feydeau's farce, "A Flea in Her Ear," which will run July 10 to 28, directed by Lamos. Ives, a grad of Yale School of Drama, is also working on a new Stephen Sondheim musical. 

Associate artistic director David Kennedy will stage Theresa Rebeck's "The Understudy," which will play Aug. 14 to Sept. 1. The surreal comedy is described: "Audiences mob the theater when a Hollywood action star takes the Broadway stage in a recently discovered play by Franz Kafka. But what if he can’t go on? Enter Harry, the understudy, a journeyman actor who has the chops but not the resume. This hilarious look at life backstage gets even crazier when Harry reunites with the stage manager (his ex-fiancée!) and dukes it out with the film star as obstacles mount and tensions rise."

The season will conclude with the world premiere of Matthew Greene's "Thousand Pines," directed by Austin Pendleton which will run Oct. 30 to Nov. 17. The play is part of the theater's
 New Works Initiative. The play is described: "Thanksgiving is a comfortable holiday. We eat the same foods, rehash old arguments, and hug our family members with a hello and goodbye. But this year it all feels hollow to the families of a small suburban town where the pain is still too fresh. Nothing has felt the same since the infamous day when Thousand Pines Junior High School was on every news channel and in everyone’s hearts. Who is at fault? And how can they move on?"