Our trip takes us to the Captain's Inn in Forked River, NJ. minuets from our theater destination. Had Don Quixote been around in the late 1800's he would have surely been a frequent patron of the Captain's Inn telling his tales about fighting robbers who poled their way on barges along the river banks that flow directly in front of the Inn. Today Captain's Inn's is no longer disturbed by privateers and looters but instead is frequented by locals and visitors from the east coast to enjoy a friendlier atmosphere and some of the finest seafood and elegant dishes prepared by this family owned establishment for 150 years.
We feasted on steamed clams and coconut shrimp appetizers and filled our bellies with Surf and Turf, A spicy Seafood fra Diablo and the Mate's Delight consisting of half a lobster, shrimp, scallops, flounder & stuffed clams. We treated ourselves to homemade apple crisp with ice cream, a black and white mouse and coconut cream iced cake. There is a wonderful selection of chicken, beef dishes in addition to 13 featured sandwiches and grilled items. One can enjoy a fine glass of wine from their "Treasure Chest" wine list or walk across the way to the riverside palm tree- laden Tkik Bar to enjoy a beverage and watch the graceful yachts, tall-masted sail boats and small dingies slowly make their way to their destinations; A very wonderful staff at a relaxed water-front setting. Located on 304 Lacey Rd. Forked River, NJ. http://captainsinnnj.com/
Making our way through the town of Forked River to Barnegat we find the Bengal Auditorium which is housing the classic tale of Don Quixote and Man of La Mancha starring the legendary entertainer John Davidson and Tony, Drama Desk nominated producer Heather Provost. Davidson completely commands the roles of Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote and Alonso Quijana grabbing the audience in the palm of his hand and holding them tight to the end. Provost is a gritty yet vulnerable Aldonza that wins your heart with her dramatic acting and moving vocals. Her renditions of "What Does He Want of Me?" and "Aldonza" are compelling. This is the second time Davidson and Provost have played these roles opposite one another and the chemistry is realistically gripping between them.
Many staged and film versions featuring of this classic show have been viewed. From Broadway's five productions first starring Richard Kiley (1965) as Don Quixote to Brian Stokes Mitchell (2002) to the most popular film version starring Peter O'Toole and Sophia Loren, this drama heavy story never changes. Music is by Mitch Leigh and lyrics by Joe Darion
The story is based on a poet/playwright of the 16th century who finds himself in a Spanish prison awaiting trial for his latest offense as a tax collector who's taxed the wrong peers. Cervantes/Don Quixote's fellow inmates seem more anxious to lighten his "bag of tricks" trunk of which Cervantes draws on as a "defense" for himself by reason of an all inclusive adventure.
Don Quixote's sidekick/squire Sancho is played by Rick Grossman, nephew of his late uncle Irving Jacobson, who originated the role. Grossman has a keen sense for the character and milks every nuance from the role. Producing Artistic Director Steve Steiner enjoys this production so much that he jumps aboard to play The Governor (Innkeeper) with a fine baritone voice. The young company of fellow prisoners is well sung and acted, particularly Chance Blakely who plays the Padre with an impressive "To Each His Dulcinea". Of course the money song "The Impossible Dream" is presented gloriously by our Don Quixote, much to the audiences' delight.
Scenic designer David Elsler has captured the essence of a stone prison vault in Seville, Spain very effectively.