(L to R) Mute (Tiffany Tyson) and El Gallo (Matthew Isaac)
(L to R) Bellomy(Walter Carr) and Hucklebee (Algernon D'Ammassa)
(L to R) Luisa (Emmalyn Holden), Mute (Tiffany Tyson) and Matt (Dustin Hadfield)
(L to R) Henry (Mark Hammersmith), Mute (Tiffany Tyson) and Mortimer (Stephen Caroe)
(L to R) Luisa (Emmalyn Holden) and El Gallo (Matthew Isaac)
(L to R) Hucklebee (Algernon D'Ammassa) and Bellomy(Walter Carr)
(L to R) Luisa (Emmalyn Holden) and Mute (Tiffany Tyson)
Jan 18-Feb 10, 2013
The original production of "The Fantasticks" opened on May 3, 1960 at the Sullivan Street Playhouse in New York's Greenwich Village and has been running strong ever since.
"The Fantasticks" is a musical telling the story of two fathers who decide that they want their children to fall in love with each other. Matt is a romantic, Luisa a fantasist. In an attempt to unite their children, the fathers feign a feud, hoping that once the children are in love, their dissension and "disapproval" of the relationship will spark an even greater love between them.
Matt and Luisa's father seem to be determined to get the children together at all costs. They even go so far as to hire El Gallo to stage a mock abduction hoping Matt will step in as the hero of Luisa's dreams. The children do fall in love but things quickly fall asunder as the plan doesn't go quite as the fathers expected. It will take much more than fake feuds and mock abductions to seal Matt and Luisa's love.
"The Fantasticks" is the longest continually running musical in history and for good reason. From its famous song "Try to Remember" to its imaginative staging, it is a golden piece of American Theatre.
Try to remember- Black Box extends 'Fantasticks'
- By Gerald M. Kane , Las Cruces Bulletin
Word of mouth certainly travels quickly in our town. Ceil Herman, artistic director of No Strings Theater Company, has another hit on her hands.
On the day following the opening night performance of "The Fantasticks" at the Black Box Theatre, I received notice that the reservations were pouring in, and the positive word of mouth was on the street. Herman has made the decision to extend the show for an additional weekend. It will now conclude its run on Sunday, Feb. 10. Details and ticket purchase information are located at the end of this review.
The original production of this historic musical opened off Broadway at the Sullivan Street Theatre May 3, 1960, and ran for an unbelievable 17,162 performances, closing on Jan. 13, 2002. Famous performers such as Liza Minnelli, Elliott Gould, F. Murray Abraham, Glenn Close, Keith Charles, Kristin Chenoweth, Bert Convy, Eileen Fulton, Lore Noto (the show's longtime producer), Dick Latessa, and Martin Vidnovic appeared in the offBroadway and touring production throughout its long run.
"The Fantasticks" is one of the most widely produced musicals in the world, with more than 11,000 productions to date in 3,000 cities and towns in all 50 states, as well as in 67 countries and two National Parks Yellowstone and our own White Sands National Monument.
A successful revival opened on Aug. 23, 2006, at the Jerry Orbach Theatre (renamed in memory of the noted actor and television performer who was the original El Gallo) and currently runs starring teen heartthrob Aaron Carter and John Davidson, television performer who starred as Matt in the first offBroadway production. The Black Box production is staged with simplicity and panache by Karen Caroe, who uses the production to enhance the talents of a significant number of her eight children. All do a fine job. The cast is filled out by other local talents, most notably the always dependable and commendable Algernon D'Ammassa and Walter Carr. The comic sense of timing of these fine actors is excellent.
The young lovers, Emmalyn Holden and Dustin Hadfield, are nuanced and appropriately innocent. I wish Matthew Isaac as El Gallo was a tad more sinister, although his voice is charming.
Mark Hammersmith and Stephen Caroe were appropriately annoying, as their parts are written to be performed, but the shining, ever present North Star of the performance is Tiffany Tyson in the challenging role of The Mute. How she is able to remember all the bits of stage business she must accomplish to keep the story moving along is beyond my ability. She does so with grace, effortlessness and unobtrusiveness.
Dena Hurab's scenic design is full of props, costumes and set pieces that are like old friends to those of us who have been attending Black Box Theatre productions for years. Here's a wink to Peter Herman. We know your hand extends far beyond the lighting design for which you are credited in the play program.
In sum, it is easy to see why Tom Jones' (not that Tom Jones) and Harvey Schmidt's musical, based on an early work by Rostand, has endured for all these years. Who does not like to see a show with an easytofollow plot, delightful, hummable tunes such as "Try to Remember","Soon It's Gonna Rain" and "They Were You" and compelling, refreshing performances.
I would be remiss not to note the ouTstanding accompaniment by Sarah Williams and Sharon NelsonHammersmith.
Make your reservations now. You won't be disappointed.
Performances of "The Fantasticks" run through Sunday, Feb. 10. Performances are at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 2:30 p.m. Sundays, Jan. 27, Feb. 3 and 10, and a Thursday evening performance at 7 p.m. Jan. 31. Tickets are $10 regular admission, $9 students and seniors older than 65, and all tickets on Thursday are $7. To make reservations, call 5231223.
No seating plan has been posted.