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Man of La Mancha: A Decca Broadway Original Cast Album (Original 1965 Broadway Cast) Cast Recording, Original recording remastered, Extra tracks

4.6 out of 5 stars 126 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Cast Recording, Original recording remastered, March 6, 2001
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The original 1966 cast who brought Don Quixote from Spain to Broadway is still unsurpassed-as is this original cast album, featuring the performance that made Richard Kiley an overnight star. The Impossible Dream and the rest of the songs from this Tony-winning classic are here plus two unreleased tracks from the original sessions!

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Man of La Mancha, the show that introduced "The Impossible Dream" to the world (and lounge singers everywhere), was the hit of the 1965 Broadway season. Richard Kiley is magnificent in his career-defining performance as the deluded wannabe knight Don Quixote. His leading lad Joan Diener sings the role of the kitchen wench Aldonza with just the right balance of dignity and vulgarity. Irving Jacobson turns in a fine comic performance as the Don's faithful squire, Sancho Panza. The score, with music by Mitch Leigh and lyrics by Joe Darion, was revolutionary in its time. The orchestra had no violins--just brass, woodwinds, percussion, and flamenco guitars. Man of La Mancha is one of Broadway's most inspiring musicals and it well deserves its high reputation. --Michael Simmons
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Product Details

  • Performer: Mitch Leigh, Joe Darion, Richard Kiley, Joan Diener
  • Audio CD (March 6, 2001)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Cast Recording, Original recording remastered, Extra tracks
  • Label: Verve
  • ASIN: B00005A8KE
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (126 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,705 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Lawrance Bernabo HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on April 25, 2002
Format: Audio CD
There are certain performances the bind a performer and a character forever, and that was certainly the case with Richard Kiley playing the title character in "Man of La Mancha." Whenever I listen to the final track of this original cast album, when Aldonza reprises "The Impossible Dream" and begs the the dying man to remember his quest and Don Quixote struggles to his feet one final time, it always brings a tear to my eyes. There are few moments from Broadway that I can listen to that have such as an effect ("Is Anybody There" from "1776," "Memories" from "Cats," and when Mary finds the door to the garden at the end of Act I of "The Secret Garden" are the others).

This is a powerful musical, surprisingly adult in its treatment of the characters and the subject matter: Joan Diener's "Aldonza" is powerfully brutal in its depiction of her wretched life. Richard Kiley singing "The Impossible Dream" is obviously a Sixties Broadway standard, but there are other memorable songs as well: Quixote's "Dulcinea," the Muleteers "Little Bird, Little Bird" and the funny/beautiful harmonious medley "The Barber's Song/Golden Helmet."

This reworking of Cervantes in "Man of La Mancha" is interesting, because although it relies primarily on episodes from Part I of "Don Quixote," its spirit is more in keeping with the tenor of Part II of that classic novel. Consequently, this musical can make for an interesting class discussion for students who have worked through the novel(s). One of the nice touches on this CD is that a couple of lines are added to the spoken introduction to "Man of La Mancha (I, Don Quixote)".

My final word would be that listening to this original Broadway cast album is FAR superior to every watching the absolutely wretched film version let alone even listening to the Soundtrack album. If you love Broadway musicals then you have to have Kiley doing "Man of La Mancha," the same way you have to have Robert Preston doing "The Music Man."
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Format: Audio CD
This is one of the all time best musicals. The music and lyrics are yet to be rivaled by any other musical. There is not one bad track on the entire CD. The cast does an outstanding job. When one hears Richard Kiley sing, he does so with such feeling that he makes one weep. Whether it be "Man of La Mancha", "Dulcinea", or "The Impossible Dream", one cannot help but be moved. Juxtapose those songs to the despairing refrains of "It's All the Same" and "Aldonza" or to the light and whimsical "I Like Him" and "A Little Gossip", and it is no wonder to the discerning listener that the original Broadway show was a long running hit. Every song is terrific!

Having been fortunate enough to have seen "Man of La Mancha" when it was first on Broadway, I can attest to the powerful effect that the music had on the audience. This is a wonderful recording that brings back memories. The original cast was magnificent, and this CD is a memorable recording of their triumph. No music collection should be without this CD. It is positively glorious!
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Format: Audio CD
I used to listen to this soundtrack on LP when I was only ten years old, and would imagine myself on stage as Don Quixote and wowing the crowds. Well, I am a bit older now, but somehow that (impossible) dream endures. I bought this soundtrack on CD only a couple of years back, but was disappointed by the fact that there were no liner notes or photos from the original show. Finally, that mistake has been rectified.
This is one of the best Broadway scores of all time, and it's remastering has been long overdue. I am thrilled to see it in its new remastered format with liner notes, and photographs, as well as a never before released track. (Thankfully, the one thing that has not changed is the Hirschfeld drawing) It's worth it just to hear Richard Kiley and Joan Diener once more. The music to this show is as rousing as that of Bizet's "Carmen". Of special note is how pains were taken to use flamenco inspired music that adds so much more than a generic show tune would have. Enjoy this CD, and see why it endures as one of the best musicals of all time.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This brilliant stage musical was a vibrant, brutal, confrontational, experimental piece of theatre when it first debuted in the middle of the turbulent 1960s, acknowledging the ceaseless brutality of the world, but suggesting that by living a courageous, engaged, aggressive life, we can stand up to the darkness we encounter. Today, in these times, it is a more important lesson for us all than ever before. In its original incarnation, "The Impossible Dream" (its real title is "The Quest") is a subtly drawn, carefully shaded anthem about living life out loud, about fighting hard even though we can never win -- NOT about being a mindless optimist, as many people present it today. Though the material is excellent, too many productions today (including the recent Broadway revival) fall into the trap of treating it as cute, as optimistic, instead of as a call to arms against the violence and hypocrisy we will never fully defeat.
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By A Customer on March 7, 2001
Format: Audio CD
As is usually the case, the original Broadway cast version, now in remastered sound, is the best production of this incredibly funny and poignant take off on Don Quixote. Richard Kiley is absolutely magnificent playing the wonderfully crazy Don who in his madness sets out to rid the world of evil. The Impossible Dream is Kiley's song alone, no successor is worthy. Irving Jacobsen is hysterical as Sancho Panza with a Yiddish twist, and the rest of the cast is fine as well.
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