JCC to present ‘The Fantasticks’

From News ReleaseMarch 10, 2014 

“The Fantasticks” will play in Smithfield on March 19.

JOHNSTON COMMUNITY COLLEGE

Talk about a time-proven audience pleaser. “Try to Remember” a time when this romantic musical wasn’t enchanting audiences around the world.

“The Fantasticks” is the world’s longest-running production of any kind and with good reason: At the heart of its poetry and theatrical sophistication is a purity and simplicity that transcends cultural barriers. The result is a timeless fable of love that manages to be nostalgic and universal at the same time.

It is a moving tale of young lovers who become disillusioned, only to discover a more-mature, meaningful love. Punctuated by a bountiful series of catchy, memorable songs, many of which have become standards, audiences will find themselves humming along to such classics as “Try to Remember” and “Soon It’s Gonna Rain.”

Through director Carl Beck, costume designer Georgiann Regan and scenic designer Jim Othuse comes a fresh new steam-punk adaptation of this classic musical.

“It’s not an intrusive concept,” Beck said of bringing steam punk to the musical. “It seems like the allegoric quality can blend with the fantasy, giving it a quasi-period feel and making for a stronger statement than (the musical) usually gets.”

Beck added that the story has not been rewritten or changed in any way. Outside of the costumes, set and props, this show is the original. “It’s classical simplicity,” he said. “It’s not a contemporary character tale. It’s about a boy who is overly in love with a girl whose fathers are trying to keep them together by pulling them apart. Steam punk seems to lend itself to this story by finding beauty among the broken pieces.”

“The Fantasticks,” written by Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt, opened May 3, 1960, at the Sullivan Street Playhouse in New York City’s Greenwich Village with stage, film and television actor Jerry Orbach in the leading role.

The production went on to play a record-breaking 17,162 performances before closing on Jan. 13, 2002, making it the world’s longest-running musical.

This tour of “The Fantasticks” will play the Paul A. Johnston Auditorium in Smithfield at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 19. Advance tickets are $15 for adults and $12.50 for seniors, students and military personnel. Tickets at the door are $17.50. For tickets, visit jccperformingarts.com or call 919-209-2099.

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