Miguel de Cervantes and his faithful manservant have just been imprisoned by the Spanish Inquisition. The inmates are restless and eager to destroy all of Cervantes' possessions, but he convinces them to stage a mock trial of his life — if he can defend himself, they'll leave him alone (look, they're in jail, they have time to fill). Cervantes then creates an on-the-spot play, with some of the inmates pitching in no less, in which he plays Alonso Quijana. That name is unfamiliar, because Quijana's alter ego, Don Quixote de La Mancha, is so much more memorable. Don Quixote is a slightly delusional fellow who's convinced he's a knight errant bound by the laws of chivalry to do good deeds, protect women and generally be a nice guy. So, is he crazy? The answer depends on if you believe it's crazy to expect people to be good; it may be an impossible dream that everybody will be decent and honorable, but where would we be without dreams or dreamers? Insight Theatre Company presents Man of La Mancha at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday (August 11 through 22) at the Heagney Theater (530 East Lockwood Avenue, Webster Groves; 314-239-9040 or www.insighttheatrecompany.com). Tickets are $20 to $30.
Wednesdays-Sundays. Starts: Aug. 11. Continues through Aug. 22, 2010