California Shakespeare Theater opens its 2018 season with the world premiere of “Quixote Nuevo,” a music-filled, contemporary retelling of Miguel de Cervantes’ classic Spanish novel “Don Quixote.”
Celebrated Latino playwright Octavio Solis journeys to the fictional modern-day border town of La Mancha, Texas, where an aging Don Quixote loses himself in stories of chivalrous escapades and embarks on a quest of imagination, adventure, and Tejano music.
“Quixote Nuevo,” directed by documentary playmaker KJ Sanchez making her Cal Shakes debut, will feature Emilio Delgado, best known for his long-running role as Luis on Sesame Street, in the title role, and a cast of Latino actors from the Bay Area and beyond.
“Quixote Nuevo” began its life nearly a decade ago as Don Quixote, commissioned and produced by the Oregon Shakespeare Festival as a more faithful adaptation, set in the original time and place of the novel.
Another version of the play, titled “Quixote,” was produced by Shakespeare Dallas last summer. When Cal Shakes Artistic Director Eric Ting approached Octavio about bringing the play to Cal Shakes, Solis knew that he wanted to revisit the play one more time, eventually leading to an entirely new script (and name).
“I’m so happy to be back at Cal Shakes, and excited to bring ‘Quixote Nuevo’ to Cal Shakes’ audiences,” Solis said. “This company has not only permitted me but has encouraged me to source the production in my own Texas and Chicano roots. I’m finally hearing my voice—in conversation with Cervantes’—in this play.”
“I’ve been a huge admirer of Octavio’s for years, and I feel spiritually very close to the themes in ‘Quixote Nuevo’,” Sanchez said. “Aging, fighting monsters — both real and perceived — the dreamer in conflict with a community that frowns upon dreaming, making up for lost time and regrets … to name a few. I want audiences to walk away from this show thinking about their own lives, their obligations to their family, their community and what they believe in enough to fight for it.”
Lower-priced previews take place June 13-15; opening night is June 16 and performances continue through July 1 at the Bruns Amphitheater. Tickets ranging from $20-$92 are available through the Cal Shakes Box Office at 510-548-9666 or by visiting calshakes.org.