Described as a quintessential celebration of love in all its gorgeous simplicity and heartbreaking complexities, The Fantasticks will open at Sierra Repertory Theatre on Friday, May 12.
Beloved by theatergoers for 50 years, The Fantasticks is a musical allegory about the romance of a young couple, Matt and Luisa, who find their relationship tested by their meddling fathers and a bandit narrator known as El Gallo. Little do these love-birds know, however, that their fathers are actually good friends who’ve hatched a plan – with the help of a mystical roving side-show and its equally mysterious ring master – to get these two lovers down the aisle.
The charm of The Fantasticks is in its poetic innocence coupled with a now-classic score by Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt that includes “Try to Remember” and “Soon it’s Gonna Rain.”
The show’s original off-Broadway production ran a total of 42 years and 17,162 performances, making it the world’s longest-running musical and longest-running uninterrupted show of any kind in the United States. It was awarded Tony Honors for Excellence in Theatre in 1991. The poetic book and breezy, inventive score helped make this show so durable.
Sierra Rep’s production will be directed by SRT Artistic Director Scott Viets.
“What makes The Fantasticks so universal and timeless is that every audience member takes from it whatever they need at the moment. It’s like a classic fairy tale – whichever character you may relate to, each has a challenge and a reward – to hopefully come out the other end a little wiser than before, a little changed,” said Viets. “Or, you just come away feeling uplifted and musically satisfied. It’s one of theatre’s all-time perfect gems.”
Sierra Rep’s production of The Fantasticks, rated PG, opens at the East Sonora Theatre on May 12 and runs through June 11. Performances are held Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays at 2 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays at 7 p.m., and Thursdays at either 2 p.m. or 7 p.m. Tickets range from $30 to $37, with senior, student and child discounts available.
For tickets and information visit www.sierrarep.org or call the Box Office at 209-532-3120.
Making his SRT debut and heading up the cast in the role of El Gallo, is Cooper Grodin. He hails from New York City and his credits include the title role in the New National Tour of The Phantom of the Opera.
Other cast/roles played by newcomers to SRT are Gordon Gray as Hucklebee, John Lambie as Bellomy, Samantha Labrecque as the mute, Ryan Mardsich as Matt and Tasha Tormey as Luisa. Gary S. Martinez, last seen in SRT’S production of State Fair, plays Henry and SRT audience favorite Joseph Fitzgerald (A Christmas Story) is Mortimer.
The production will have live accompaniment by musical director and pianist Mark Seiver and world-renowned harpist Dr. Beverly Wesner-Hoehn (Emily Mader at some performances).
Rounding out the production team are set designer Josh Roscoe, costume designer Rebecca Meredith, lighting design by Mike Sali and properties design by Matt Sweetland.
Productions of The Fantasticks have played throughout the U.S. and in at least 67 foreign countries including Afghanistan, Iran, Zimbabwe, Japan, Costa Rica, New Zealand, Germany, Australia, Saudi Arabia and Israel. It has been translated into at least 21 languages, including French, German, Danish, Icelandic, Norwegian, Japanese, Spanish, Arabic, Hebrew, Czech, Persian, Irish, Italian, Thai and Mandarin. Additionally, The Fantasticks has been performed at The White House, for the Peace Corps in Africa, and a number of other prominent venues.