Man of La Mancha is a musical inspired by Miguel de Cervantes' Don Quixote. Designed as a play within a play, Cervantes tells the story of the mad knight Don Quixote, while in prison awaiting a hearing with the Spanish Inquisition.
The musical was developed at the Goodspeed Opera House in Connecticut (where over forty years later Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas would debut), and the musical made its bow on Broadway in 1965, winning five Tony Awards and running for six years. It has seen numerous revivals, and has been a staple of high school and community theatre productions across the country. Its signature song, "The Impossible Dream", has become a standard in the American songbook.
- The show was parodied during Season 37 of Sesame Street with "Man of La Muncha" where a child named Johnny sings about eating an "incredible meal" with his family.
- In the waiting area for the Sesame Place stage show Elmo the Musical, a poster hangs for the show "Man of La Muncha."
- Episode 3268 of Sesame Street has Rosita and Telly pretending to be Don Quixote and Sancho Panza (respectively). They sing an adventure song that spoofs the title song of the musical.
- James Coco played Sancho Panza in the 1972 feature film
- Darryl Ferreira played a guard and understudied Sancho Panza, the padre, and the barber in the 1992 Broadway revival
- José Ferrer played Cervantes/Don Quixote as a replacement during the original Broadway run (May-June 1966)
- Louise Gold played Aldonza/Dulcinea in a one off performance at the Colchester Mercury Studio Theatre in August 1999
- Marilyn Horne played Aldonza/Dulcinea in a 1972 record album
- Raul Julia played Cervantes/Don Quixote in the 1992 Broadway revival
- Madeline Kahn played Antonia in a 1972 record album
- Brian Stokes Mitchell played Cervantes/Don Quixote in the 2002 Broadway revival
- Jim Nabors played Don Quixote in a 1972 record album
- Peter O'Toole played Cervantes/Don Quixote in the 1972 feature film
- Marilyn Sokol played a Moorish dancer and understudied the innkeeper's wife and others for the first national tour (1966)