The Building Stage presents the World Premiere of DAWN, QUIXOTE. Don Quixote was an ordinary man who believed his destiny was to be extraordinary. In his mind, his quest had him attempt to rescue damsels in distress from giants. The reality was he couldn’t save the prostitutes or stop the windmills. As Quixote awaits the dawn of his final day, he reminisces about his long search for his one true love. DAWN, QUIXOTE is a clever depiction made bittersweet under the circumstances.
After eight years, The Building Stage is going dark. DAWN, QUIXOTE is its final production. Artistic Director and Founder of The Building Stage, Blake Montgomery has masterfully conceived and directed this show based on Miguel de Cervantes’ novel about a man chasing impossible dreams. The context makes for a poignant send-off. The parallel between the reality of TBS closing and the reality of Quixote’s delusional success is a gut punch. This show feels like an intimate self-portrait of Montgomery. And the content gets even more personal as the set is floor-to-ceiling racks of TBS costume and prop memorabilia. The experience is profoundly nostalgic.
Montgomery assembles a six person cast (Gabriel Franken, Michael Hamilton, Chelsea Keenan, Kate Suffern, Anne Walaszek and Nathan Wonder) dressed in identical Spanish Golden age attire; black pantaloons and white wigs and beards. They take turns narrating the recollections of Quixote’s past. Their well-synchronized and amusing shenanigans are impressive feats of improv and ukulele playing. The cast takes the story scene by scene for a sequential overview of the life and times of Quixote. In unison, they initially gallop with unbridled excitement. Later, the tone gets somber with the impact of waking up from a dream reality.
This show is smart and potentially hilarious. Unfortunately, it’s hard to laugh at it. In reverence to the great work produced by The Building Stage, I feel chuckling at the misfortunes of an idealist rude. Surrounded by the ghosts of productions’ past, DAWN, QUIXOTE is like going to an Irish wake sober. Despite the playful nature of this high-energy showcase, I’m haunted by the finality of it all.
I wish Blake Montgomery well in his next great adventure to find his Dulcinea.
Running Time: Ninety minutes with no intermission
At The Building Stage, 412 N. Carpenter
Based on Miguel de Cervantes’ “Don Quixote”
Conceived and directed by Blake Montgomery
Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays at 8pm
Sundays at 4pm
Thru April 27th
Buy Tickets at www.buildingstage.com
Photo courtesy of Blake Montgomery