This new Broadway Cast Recording of "Man of La Mancha" is actually a bit better than one might expect. Though the original score has always been somewhat overrated, it nevertheless provides enough pleasantries for the attuned listener. And while this recording may have its flaws, and they are by no means insignificant, it still offers a fresh take on an old warhorse of a show. To begin with, Brian Stokes Mitchell is really rather wonderful as Don Quixote. As any Broadway afficianado knows, Mitchell has the vocal chops to perform the role ably (he sings the living daylights out of "Impossible Dream"). The marvel here is that his phrasing is so right and in key with the character that the ghost of Richard Kiley never hovers. He makes the role his own. Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio may be a bit of a mixed blessing, but she ultimately acquits herself surprisingly well. While her singing is a bit wobbly at times, the rough edges and harsher tones actually fit her character. Aldonza shouldn't be all sweetness and light, and Mastrantonio doesn't sing her that way. The surprise here is that her basic instrument is so supple and technically proficient that she is able to do justice with an extremely demanding role. Her rendition of "What Does He Want of Me" is exquisite. Unfortunately, its her line readings that do damage. Mastrantonio has a habit of interpreting her characters in extremes, and here her line readings have all the subtly of a brickbat. At times she seems to be projecting to the back row of the theatre across the street. As Sancho, Ernie Sabello is an adequate, conservative choice for the role, but the evident deterioration in his voice is a constant distraction, and he sometimes sounds like he got to Spain by way of Flatbush Avenue. The supporting performers are uniformly fine, and though the orchestrations are a bit thin and reedy at times, there's a liveliness to this recording that's hard to resist. Ultimately, the value of this recording will be based on whether or not you enjoyed the musical in the first place. Me? I've listened to the Original Cast Recording with Richard Kiley once. This new cast album hasn't left my CD player in two weeks. Says something, doesn't it?