Resident Acting Company member Rick McVey, whom audiences saw last year as Javert in “Les Miserables,” will don the sword and helmet of Don Quixote in this funny, imaginative musical based on Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra’s now classic “The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha,” one of the most influential works from the Spanish Golden Age.
When he is thrown into a dungeon by the Spanish Inquisition, Cervantes rallies his fellow prisoners, pulling them into the fictional world of Don Quixote he has created. In this bleak prison where no prisoner is likely to escape alive, their play-acting becomes more and more real, offering a temporary escape and a vision of real hope.
“The men and women entombed in this prison cling desperately to hope, even while recognizing the despair of their lives,” said Barter’s Producing Artist Director, Richard Rose, who is directing the show. “Each time the steps descend into their world, it could bring the end of life for them. Each time a person ascends the stairs, it will likely be the end of that person’s life. So they hope that they are not called, that they will continue to exist. They cling to whatever power they can gain in this small world. It is a desperate hope.
“Cervantes brings them a new way to live; one with real hope — and the religious overtones of that hope are not lost in his story. He brings them hope that they can change their world and live a life of more than mere survival. He brings hope that the world is a better place together than alone, isolated and in despair. They, at the end of this story, understand that to hope for a better world and to strive to realize that hope is a better way to live.”
With a stirring score (filled with memorable songs such as “Dream the Impossible Dream” and “Dulcinea”) played by an onstage band, scenes of daring (mis)adventure and breath-taking special effects, “Man of La Mancha” will be packed full of the stage magic for which Barter is known.
“Man of La Mancha” continues through May 10.
Valentine’s weekend also marks the grand opening of Barter’s new dining experience, Bob’s at Barter, located across the street from the Main Stage at Barter Stage II.
Bob’s at Barter replaces the café at Barter Stage II, and features a new menu with more dinner and dessert options as well as a completely renovated dining space. With new flooring, paint and light fixtures, as well as intimate seating arrangements for comfortable conversations and a more sophisticated decor, Bob’s at Barter is a cozy spot that invites patrons to linger before and after the show.
Barter’s final performance of the 2013 season took place Dec. 29, leaving the theater just a little more than a month to complete the entire renovation. The café’s interior was stripped of furnishings, new flooring was installed, a new layout was constructed, the space was painted, and new décor and furniture were added, all in just under 45 days.
“When we started this renovation, we knew the two key things we had to get right were the food and the ambiance,” said Lori Hester, Barter’s director of patron services. “The new Bob’s at Barter is much more than a snack bar — it’s a place you’d want to bring friends or a date and have lunch or dinner.”
The updated menu features some long-time customer favorites like the Porterfield Club sandwich, along with new menu items such as a grilled cheese caprese sandwich, spinach salad with strawberries, candied pecans and blue cheese, stuffed mushroom Florentine, a black bean burger and roasted tomato bruschetta. For the kids, Bob’s at Barter still offers grilled cheese and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
Bob’s at Barter is open seven days a week, beginning at 11 a.m., for lunch, dinner and post-show dining. No tickets are required to dine in or pick up a meal.
For Valentine’s Day, Barter is offering a Sweet Deal Package, which includes two tickets to the 8 p.m. showing of “Man of La Mancha” and two gourmet coffees and desserts at Bob’s at Barter for $85.
For more information or to book a package or tickets for any of Barter’s productions, visit www.bartertheatre.com or call (276) 628-3991.