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Thursday, Apr. 28, 2016

Fantasticks opens at Playhouse

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

The musical "The Fantasticks," the longest running show in New York's history, will grace the stage of the Putnam County Playhouse Aug. 9-11 and 15-18.

All of these performance will be at 8 p.m. There will also be a 3 p.m. matinee performance on Sunday, Aug. 12. Tickets for all performances are $9 and can be reserved by telephoning the box office after 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday beginning Aug. 6.

The musical is presented in part by Old National Bank.

Director Ernie Ford said that "The Fantasticks" opened in New York City at the Sullivan Playhouse in 1960 and it originally ran for over 17,000 performances. It is currently enjoying a revival in the newly named Jerry Orbach Theatre. Orbach, who played on "Law and Order" until he died two years ago, was the original star for the show.

Director Ford saw the original at the Sullivan Street Playhouse years ago and saw it again last fall in the new theatre.

The play is written by Tom Jones (not the singer Tom Jones) and Harvey Schmidt, who also wrote the recently revived "110 In the Shade" and "I Do! I Do!"

"The Fantasticks" scores includes two songs that became popular hits, "Try to Remember" and "Soon It's Gonna Rain."

Appearing in Ford's version are Chris Wurster as El Gallo, the Narrator; Brittany Plessinger as the Girl, Luisa; Jake Osborn as the boy, Matt; Keith Bodnarick as Bellomy, the girl's father; and Jeff Osborn as Hucklebee, the boy's father.

Also in the cast are Joan Osborn as The Mute, Larry Sutton as Henry, and Jack Randall Earles as Mortimer (who also provided the choreography for the show).

The fathers find that building a wall does not always keep children apart. Or was that their intention? With humor and music, the audience is taken on a journey that mixes hope and reality.

Pianist and pit conductor is Lynne Tweedie. Her musicians include Liz Poor on percussion, Kathryn Dory on keyboard, and Adam Hilkert on bass guitar. Allison Edberg is the musical coordinator.

Stage manager is Jessica Long. Swordfight staging was done by assistant director Tim Fox, who will also run the light board. Bryan Schroeder designed the lights and sound. Spot operators are Sarah Dory and Adam Hurt, and Jim Green will run the sound. Sarah Gard is on the stage crew, and Sandi Rossok handled the costuming chores. Properties were gathered by Gard and Linda Ford.

The original production as written, and as presented by PCPH, does contain some strong language. Patrons who want more information about this aspect of "The Fantasticks" can telephone the box office for more information.

The 46th season of PCPH ends in September with "The Sunshine Boys."

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