When the curtain rises on Center Stage Theatre’s production of “Man of La Mancha” on Jan. 30, it will be the fifth time in 15 years that Brett Boles, who will play Don Quixote, and Mia Scarpa of Shelton, who will play Aldonza, have shared the stage together.
Their theatrical relationship began in the summer of 2000 when Scarpa, then a recent high school graduate, played Maria Von Trapp, and Boles, only 14, played Friedrich Von Trapp, in “The Sound of Music” with the Youth CONNection, which is now a division of Center Stage.
Two years later, the duo would once again play mother and son on the stage in the group’s production of “Children of Eden.”
“I was still a newcomer to theater the first time I shared the stage with Mia in The Sound of Music and, immediately struck by her poise, I had complete confidence that she could shepherd all of us through the entire process,” said Boles, who lives in Newtown.
“Besides her professionalism, she also took it upon herself to care for each of the ‘Von Trapp’ kids off the stage, much as Maria does for them on stage,” he said.
In addition to performing together on stage through the years, Boles has asked Scarpa to sing on demo-tapes and try-outs in New York for shows he was writing as a composer.
Complex relationship between characters
As Quixote and Aldonza in “Man of La Mancha,” the relationship between Boles and Scarpa in the play is a complex one.
A mad knight, Quixote sees the world through rose-colored glasses and places Aldonza on a pedestal, “seeing” her as a virginal lady whom he calls Dulcinea, and offering her a level of adoration and respect which she cannot handle and feels she doesn’t deserve.
“What I love about the relationship between these two characters is that Aldonza is such a wounded, cynical person until she meets Quixote,” Scarpa said. “He helps her to heal the wounds of her past, because he does not judge her the way others do.
“I can’t imagine doing this role with anyone other than Brett,” she said. “I think in our many years of friendship, he has always seen the best in me on and off the stage.”
Boles said Quixote and Aldonza’s relationship “doesn’t need to be defined by romantic love in the usual ‘musical theater’ sense — Quixote sees beauty in her when she is unable to see it in herself, and that — to me — is the purest, most beautiful kind of love.”
Performance times and tickets
“Man of La Mancha” will be performed at Center Stage on Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. through Feb. 14; with Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. on Feb. 1, 8 and 15, plus a show Thursday, Feb. 12 at 7 p.m.
Purchase tickets, at $25 for adults and $10 for students, through the box office at 203-225-6079 or online at www.centerstageshelton.org. Center Stage is at 54 Grove St., Shelton.