Since its inception in 1960, ”The Fantasticks” by Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt is the longest-running production in American theatre. From the creative and unique storyline to the beautifully written and performed songs, it’s not hard to see why – ”The Fantasticks” is a mesmerizing and enchanting performance that stands the test of time.
Sponsored by PeaceHealth Cottage Grove Community Medical Center and expertly directed by Kory Weimer, the show opened on Friday, Nov. 30.
”The Fantasticks” is a love story about a boy and girl who are next-door neighbors. Their fathers, portrayed by Mark Allen and Larry Brown, have an ongoing and seemingly endless feud, and have erected a wall to separate their properties and their children. While this may seem cliche, don’t let the beginning fool, for ”The Fantasticks” has numerous cards up its sleeve and is sure to keep the audience entranced for its two and a quarter hour run-time.
The talented narrator and magician, El Gallo, played by Sam Anderson, captures the spotlight with his soul piercing vocal talent and magnificent acting ability. Backed by The Mute, performed by Sophie Blades, the audience is in for a unique and artistically done production. Thomas Guastavino (Matt) and Ashlee Winkler (Luisa), share electrifying chemistry and entrance the viewers in elegant and charming song and dance sequences.
The show is also full of humor and wit thanks to performances by Dale Flynn as Henry and Keith Kessler as Mortimer. The beautiful vocals are only possible because of the talented instrumental work by Chris King and Keri Davis.
Additionally, the minimalist, yet charming set and props, courtesy of Stage Manager Lynn Connolly, allow the audience’s imagination to take them on a journey from a simple and peaceful backyard to a variety of landscapes.
From the opening monologue to the beautiful and perfectly timed conclusion, ”The Fantasticks” captures viewers’ minds and hearts from minute one. Containing charm, humor, drama and romance, this musical will have you humming ”Try to Remember” long after you return home.
I plan to see ”The Fantasticks” at least one more time before its final show on Dec. 16. If you haven’t already, ”Try to Remember” to purchase your tickets and attend a ”fantastick” evening full of love, laughter and magic.
IF YOU GO:
WHAT: ”The Fantasticks’
WHEN: Now playing th rough Dec. 16
WHO: Presented by Cottage Theatre. Book and lyrics by Tom Jones, Music by Harvey Schmidt
TICKETS: $25 adults; $15 youth
WHERE: 700 Village Drive, Cottage Grove
MORE INFO: visit www.cottagetheatre.com / call 541-942-8001