|"Like so much of musical comedy in general, it exalts wide eyed innocence and pluck as determinative, but the trope that the people united can never be defeated was particularly resonant then."
Hadn't really considered this before, but this is an astute frame on that subcategory of shows. La Mancha arrived in '65, "The Impossible Dream" became a pop standard, and the quixotic prism of a crazy idealist's take on an already troubled world gone mad was part of the era. My mind racing, I'd add the (simultaneous) failed '65 Julie Harris vehicle, Skyscraper (musicalizing, of all things, Elmer Rice's 1945 Dream Girl), about an eccentric antiques dealer who is determined to save her midtown Manhattan brownstone from the bulldozer. She ends up with a series of Walter Mitty fantasies. Yes, it opened the same month as La Mancha, but it's still an interesting iteration of the unlikely rebel fighting institutions. The last number is titled "Spare That Building," enough said. Musical theater creatives were on their own quest to find antiheroes with colorful missions.