Man of LaMancha

Reviews- December, 2007

ny times

From his first scene, in which he enters an Inquisition-era prison as Miguel de Cervantes, then applies a little fake facial hair and becomes that author’s most famous creation, he gives a quietly stirring performance. (Mr. Cuccioli knows something about onstage transformations. He played the title roles in “Jekyll & Hyde” on Broadway a few years ago and received the Drama Desk Award, the Outer Critics Circle Award and a  Tony nomination. Most recently he starred in a New York revival of “Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well and Living in Paris.”)

And it is an undeniable fact about “Man of La Mancha” that if the star does even a passable job of the show’s anthem, “The Impossible Dream,” the evening is worth any reasonable price of admission. Mr. Cuccioli nails it, making the song his own with an impressive blending of fervor and shakiness.

Cuccioli, as reliable a leading man as contemporary musical theatre has, delivers the goods once again. He is simply money in the bank, and if you've never seen him perform now would be a good time to do so. He commits to the role wholeheartedly, delivering a Quixote that does indeed burn "with the fire of inner vision," as Cervantes puts it. Add to that Cuccioli's trademark rich baritone, and you've got the makings of a clear, meticulously executed performance..........


MAN OF LA MANCHA, in reality, is a star vehicle for the actor portraying Cervantes/ Alonso Quijana/Don Quixote who gets to sing what has become the incredible hit song – TO DREAM THE IMPOSSIBLE DREAM. And Robert Cuccioli does a phenomenal job in the part. Commanding and tender. A dreamer. A fighter. An idealist. Mr. Cuccioli covers all emotions nicely and sings with great passion



Robert Cuccioli's résumé is overflowing with major credits, but he's best known for playing the title role(s) in the Frank Wildhorn musical Jekyll & Hyde. Had things gone as planned, he'd be back on Broadway right now in Lone Star Love; unfortunately, that show closed out of town in September, reportedly due to trouble caused by the wife of star Randy Quaid. Not one to sulk, Cuccioli bounced right back and is now starring in the classic Mitch Leigh-Joe Darion-Dale Wasserman musical Man of La Mancha, set to run November 29-December 16 at the White Plains Performing Arts Center. I spoke with him just a few days before the opening......

The Journal News

In all things, Cuccioli is in command.

He sings sweetly - as in the lovely, lilting "Dulcinea" - and forcefully - as in the show's anthem, "The Impossible Dream." Cuccioli is an actor at the top of his powers, clearly delineating each character vocally and physically. His Quixote is stooped but courtly, wild-eyed and infectiously hopeful; his Cervantes is nervous then self-assured, deferential and always inventive.

The change comes about when Cervantes - in full view of his fellow prisoners - puts on the makeup that transforms him into Quixote. It takes less than a minute for Cuccioli to don the goatee, false eyebrows and makeup, but the impact is long-lasting and unforgettable.

Cuccioli's acting doesn't end when the songs begin. He drives each home with the lightest of touches: a raised eyebrow, a gleam in his eye, a turn of his head.

He is something to behold.............


When Jack Batman heard the “Leading Man of the 90s” Robert Cuccioli’s  Lone Star Love  show playing in Seattle  was closing in September,  Mr. Cuccioli told the CitizeNetReporter the new Artistic Director of WPPAC contacted him to take the lead in  the White Plains Performing Arts Center debut musical production Man of La Mancha, which opens Thursday night. C uccioli did not hesitate. He took it and it was the beginning of the fulfillment of his “Impossible Dream.” It was a coup -- for the theatre and the actor...