Holgate stars as Quixote

Broadway musical opens Friday night at the Lied Center

Tony Award-winning actor Ron Holgate will appear as Don Quixote in the national tour of "Man of La Mancha," which is coming Friday to the Lied Center. The show begins at 8 p.m.

The musical runs 2 1/2 hours with no intermission.

Holgate has performed many times on Broadway. His latest role was Buffalo Bill in the revival of "Annie Get Your Gun." He won a Tony Award for his portrayal of Richard Henry Lee in "1776."

"Man of La Mancha" is based on "Don Quixote," the literary masterpiece by Miguel de Cervantes, and "I, Don Quixote," a television play by librettist Dale Wasserman.

"Man of La Mancha" features a play within a play. The novelist Cervantes and his associate Sancho are brought to an underground prison to await a hearing with the Spanish Inquisition. Cervantes is set upon by the other prisoners, who decided to hold a mock trial in order to find him guilty and steal his possessions. The writer presents a play as his defense, to give the "jury" insight into the "crimes" of which they accuse him. They agree and become actors in his play.

Cervantes plays Alhonso Quijana, a man who has set his own reality aside and becomes Don Quixote de la Mancha. The play simultaneously tracks the experiences of Cervantes, Quijana and Quixote.

The story comes to its conclusion when the prisoners judging Cervantes are impressed with his defense, and the author's crimes are forgiven. But then the real Inquisition guards return to take Cervantes and his associate to their actual trial. Cervantes discovers that the mock trial he was subjected to and the play that he created were not a waste of time.

Tickets range from $17 to $40 and are available at the Murphy Hall Box Office, 864-3982; Lied Center Box Office, 864-ARTS; Student Union Activities Box Office, 864-3477; KU Medical Center Bookstore; Ticketmaster outlets, (785) 234-4545 and (816) 931-3330; and tickets.com.

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