Sterling Playmakers perform ‘Man of La Mancha’

The nonprofit theatre company takes guests to the 17th century for an evening filled with sword fights and songs.

Sterling Playmakers
Photo courtesy of Angela Hepola, Photo by: Paul Thomas

Mother-daughter duo Kathleen Bleutge and Lora Buckman team up as the respective director and producer of Man of La Mancha, an awarding-winning, PG-13 musical inspired by Miguel Cervantes’ Don Quixote.

The Sterling Playmakers, a nonprofit community theatre group, will take the Seneca Ridge Middle School stage for the musical’s Nov. 10, 8 p.m. opening show. The school will also host matinee and evening shows through Nov. 18.

Man of La Mancha is a classic that requires quality actors,” Angela Hepola, Sterling Playmakers’ publicity manager, said. “It is a fantastic show, inspired by a great cast, crew and beautiful voices.”

Ted Fredrick, a Sterling Playmaker actor, will act as both the Governor and the Innkeeper in the Tony Award-winning play.

“The demands on the cast are perhaps greater than any other of the dozen or so musicals [in which] I have performed,” Fredrick said. “The Governor is a mean-hearted, bully-ish, almost evil character, [while the] Innkeeper is kind-hearted and helpful—a pleasant man.”

Sterling Playmakers
Photo courtesy of Angela Hepola, Photo by: Paul Thomas

“By the end of the show … in the Governor role, [I am] transformed by Don Quixote into an understanding, thoughtful man,” Fredrick continued. “This is multiplied across most of the cast of the show, [which] adds up to an entertaining mixture of fun, frolic and even heavy-hearted moments.”

Kelly Gray, who plays Aldonza, has waited years for this opportunity.

“This is my favorite musical, mostly because of the book … the message,” Gray said. “It struck a chord with me when I first saw it many years ago at Toby’s Dinner Theatre in Columbia, Maryland.  Powerful, moving, raw and life-changing, it is a story of how to create, or recreate, your life by seeing it into being … believing it into being.”

Everyone who has a hand in bringing Man of La Mancha to life is a volunteer, practicing and preparing in their spare time.

The $15 admission ticket will fund future plays’ costumes, sets and outreach activities.