When a musical theater production fervently stirs the hearts and souls of its audiences — such as "West Side Story," "Les Miserables" or even the more modern "Rent" — chances are it has its roots in the classics of a bygone era.
"Man of La Mancha," which took Broadway by storm in 1965 and remains one of the most beloved of musicals, is such an example, taking its cue from Miguel de Cervantes' 17th-century novel "Don Quixote." It's been around the local block a few times since, but never quite so fully realized as the current production at Westminster's Rose Center Theater.
Director Tim Nelson, who helms the Academy for the Performing Arts program at Huntington Beach High School and has populated the cast with several APA members, has mounted a powerful, passionate rendition of this modern classic. The voices at its center are superb, as are the performances, and the constant ensemble interaction enriches the show's atmosphere.