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The world's longest-running musical, The Fantasticks is an insightful and poignant coming-of-age story. Based loosely on Edmond Rostand's play Les Romanesques (The Romancers), it tells the story of two fathers who bring their children together by faking a feud, tantalizing them with the idea of forbidden love. After finding love and then discovering the harsh realities of the outside world, the children come to deeper understanding of the complexities of life and come to appreciate what is truly important.
Premiering on May 3, 1960, the original Off-Broadway production of The Fantasticks ran for an incredible 42 years and 17,162 performances, closing January 13, 2002. But the show wouldn't be gone for long; the Off-Broadway revival opened on August 23, 2006 at the Snapple Theater Center, bringing a fresh eye to the classic tale. The show has been produced in London's West End as well as in over 60 other countries, and a film version starring Joel Grey, Joey McIntyre, and Jean Louisa Kelly was released in 2000. Other stars who have performed in the show include: Kristin Chenoweth, Glenn Close, Liza Minnelli, Robert Goulet, Dick Latessa, F. Murray Abraham, and Eileen Fulton. Order your Fantasticks tickets today and witness an essential part of musical theatre history!Plot Synopsis:
As the show and the overture plays, a wall separates two houses in an American town. The mysterious narrator, El Gallo, enters singing about love and begins to set up the action. The young Matt and Luisa, who live next door to one another, have fallen in love, but their fathers refuse to let them be together because they are embroiled in a feud. As the two young lovers long for each other's touch on opposite sides of the wall, they discuss Luisa's fantasy of Matt saving her and whisking her away. Matt's father, Hucklebee, and Luisa's father, Bellomy, appear and order them inside. But once Bell calls to Huck, it becomes clear that the two are actually best friends, only pretending to fight to bring their children together; they assume that their children will pursue that which is forbidden to them, so they stage this ruse to make them fall in love. Huck then tells Bell that he plans to stage a kidnapping from which Matt can save Luisa.
Having been hired by Huck and Bell, El Gallo appears with Henry and Mortimer, two aged and somewhat confused actors. The fathers charge them with staging an elaborate and convincing abduction. Matt and Luisa appear and sing of their love and the life they wish to share together, but are interrupted by the fake kidnapping. Easily subduing the old men, Matt saves Luisa, ending the "feud" and bringing the families together in peace and love.
After some time has passed, the romantic quality of their new happiness begins to fade and the fathers and children become irritated with the flaws of one another. Trying to recreate their initial infatuation, the children discover that the honeymoon has ended. In a burst of annoyance, Huck reveals that the feud was a lie and the kidnapping was staged, much to the shock of Matt and Luisa. The situation escalates into a real feud and the fathers shut themselves up in their respective houses. In an attempt to reclaim his honor, Matt challenges El Gallo to a duel, but is quickly disarmed. Disheartened, Matt and Luisa begin quarreling and revealing their true feelings about each other. El Gallo, now acting as narrator, re-enters and says that Matt needs to go out and experience the world.
A month later, the wall has returned between the two houses. Finally relenting, Huck and Bell resolve their fight and worry about their children; Luisa has become stoic and emotionless and Matt is still away. Luisa encounters El Gallo and desperately asks him to take her out into the world, and he agrees. Meanwhile, Matt is being tortured by the harsh reality of the outside world. El Gallo turns to abandon Luisa, and despite Matt's return and plea to spare her feelings, he exits. Both deeply hurt by the harshness of the world and enlightened by a deeper knowledge of life, Matt and Luisa meet again and discover that all they wanted was each other. As the fathers turn to tear down the wall again, El Gallo reminds them that it must remain. Order some Fantasticks tickets right away to experience this emotional journey.Run Time: 2 hours and 10 minutes with one intermission Advisory: Appropriate for all ages. Creative Team: Music Harvey Schmidt Lyrics Tom Jones Book Tom Jones Based on Les Romanesques by Edmond Rostand The Fantasticks News: August 3, 2006 Four years after the close of the original production, the revival of The Fantasticks officially opened!