Man of La Mancha is a 1964 musical with a book by Dale Wasserman, lyrics by Joe Darion, and music by Mitch Leigh. It is adapted from Wasserman's non-musical 1959 teleplay I, Don Quixote, which was in turn inspired by Miguel de Cervantes and his seventeenth-century masterpiece Don Quixote. It tells the story of the "mad" knight, Don Quixote, as a play within a play, performed by Cervantes and his fellow prisoners as he awaits a hearing with the Spanish Inquisition.
Cervantes presents the play as his defense in a mock trial for the prisoners. In it, he plays Alhonso Quiana, a man who has set his own reality aside and become Don Quixote De La Mancha. Assisted by his "squirem" Sancho Panza, Quixote attempts to avoid his mortal enemy, the Enchanter, and woo the serving wench and prostitute, Aldonza, who he takes to be the lady Dulcinea.