Goodbye, Dale

“People sometimes go in quest of one thing and meet with another.”

Dale Wasserman,  the Man of La Mancha playwright, died yesterday at the age of 94.

According to newspaper stories, Mr. Wasserman was born in 1914 in Rhinelander, Wis., and left home when he was 12, hopping freight trains around the nation. With little formal schooling, he found a job in theater and learned all aspects, from lighting to directing.  Wasserman started writing for television during its Golden Age after walking out of a Broadway play that he was directing, thinking he could write something better than what he was directing.

Wasserman premiered the TV play I, Don Quixote, in 1959.  He then turned the play into Man of La Mancha, whose Broadway run lasted for 2,329 performances.

According to sources, he gave his wife instructions for his obituary months ago: “The only thing I would want the newspaper to say is this: He invented the phrase ‘The Impossible Dream’ — and lived it.”

Mr. Wasserman’s  Don Quixote says the following in Man of La Mancha: “I hope to add some measure of grace to the world. . . . Whether I win or lose does not matter, only that I follow the quest.”

From boxcars to Broadway.  Mr. Wasserman is an inspiration to all of us on a quest, and who believe dreaming the impossible to be a virtue.

~ by chuckmattina on December 29, 2008.

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