The longest-running show in Off Broadway history, the 1960 musical by the songwriting team of Harvey Schmidt and Tom Jones played for more than four decades and over 17,000 performances at the intimate Sullivan Street Playhouse in Greenwich Village – winning a special Tony Award.
The Fantasticks is a funny and romantic musical about a boy, a girl, and their two fathers who try to keep them apart. The narrator, El Gallo, asks the audience to use their imagination and follow him into a world of moonlight and magic. The boy and the girl fall in love, grow apart and finally find their way back to each other after realizing the truth in El Gallo’s words that, “without a hurt, the heart is hollow.” (source MTI website)
For this summer-season production of a history-making landmark musical, producer Sheri Anderson and director Michael Perreca have made a direct connection to the show’s rich history, by casting two veterans of the show’s legendary New York run. Starring as El Gallo, the bandit-for-hire who serves as the show’s narrator, is David Edwards, who played the role for more than 500 performances at Sullivan Street, and who was featured in the 2003 documentary Try to Remember: The Fantasticks. Fellow Off Broadway cast member J.C. Hoyt returns to the role of Henry, the Old Actor who assists the bandit in an elaborate ruse designed to unite the young neighbors Matt (“The Boy”) and Luisa (“The Girl”).
Appearing respectively as Matt and Luisa are Keenan Buckley and Sarah Beth Andrews, with Brett Lowell and Felipe Gorostiza as the “feuding” fathers Bellamy and Hucklebee. The cast is completed by a pair of alumni from Monmouth’s Department of Music and Theater Arts, Brandon M. Wiener (Mortimer) and Evan Kudish (The Mute), with those roles understudied by Monmouth students Christian Lombino and Erin Clemente.
Featuring choreography by Janine Molinari and musical direction by Michael Gilch, The Fantasticks is a timeless tale of both romance and reality, told with a bracing humor and a sense of stage magic that never goes out of style.