Photo Coverage: 'The Fantasticks' Celebrates 50 Years!
The theater community kicked off The Fantasticks 50th anniversary year with an early curtain of the show (7PM) and a post-performance cocktail reception at The Snapple Center on Monday May 4th. The evening featured performances by Daphne Rubin-Vega (Rent, Anna in the Tropics, Jack Goes Boating), Rita Gardner (original 1960 production of The Fantasticks, The Cradle Will Rock, The Wedding Singer), Orfeh (Legally Blonde, Footloose), Aaron Lazar (The Light in the Piazza, A Tale of Two Cities, Les Miserables), GrooveLily (Striking 12) and Jill Paice (Curtains, The Woman in White).
In addition, The Office of New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg offered a special proclamation declaring Fantasticks Day in New York City.
The Fantasticks (music by Harvey Schmidt; book, lyrics and direction by Tom Jones) is a captivating and simple romantic comedy about a boy, a girl, two fathers and a wall. The Audience uses its imagination to follow the narrator, El Gallo, as he creates a world of moonlight and magic, and then pain and disillusionment, until the boy and girl find their way to one another. The score, which includes the hit songs Try To Remember, They Were You, and Soon It's Gonna Rain, is as timeless as the story itself.
The cast includes Bradley Dean (Broadways Spamalot, Company, Jane Eyre) as El Gallo, Tom Flagg (Broadways Will Rogers Follies, How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Oklahoma), Gene Jones (No Country for Old Men, Broadway's Big River, Joe Turners Come and Gone), Ramona Mallory (Captain Louie), Michael Nostrand, (A&Es Emmy Award-winning Peter Pan, national tours of Jelly's Last Jam, The Mystery of Edwin Drood), Evy Ortiz, Steve Routman (The Keen Company's The Conscientious Objector, Awake and Sing! at Arena Stage), Jonathan Schwartz, Douglas Ullman, Jr. (The Sound of Music Asia tour), John Thomas Waite (title role in Broadway's Amadeus) and Scott Willis (Broadway's Crazy for You and 42nd Street). Scenic and Costume design is by Ed Wittstein. Lighting design is by Mary Jo Dondlinger. Domonic Sack designed the sound, musical staging is by Janet Watson and Robert Felstein is the musical director. The Fantasticks is produced by Terzetto LLC, Pat Flicker Addiss and MARS Theatricals.
Having played a record-breaking 17,162 performances in its original run at the Sullivan Street Playhouse in Greenwich Village and an additional 992 performances at The Snapple Theater Center, The Fantasticks has been performed in every corner of the world, from Afghanistan to Iran to Zimbabwe. It won a Tony Award for Excellence in the Theater in 1992 and it has become a true New York institution. In fact, Mayor Michael Bloomberg attended the New Year's Eve performance before ringing in 2008 in Times Square.
The original 1960 company starred the late Jerry Orbach as El Gallo. In June 2007, the theater that is home to this revival of The Fantasticks was christened The Jerry Orbach Theater. Other notable performers who have appeared in the show include F. Murray Abraham, Glenn Close, Richard Chamberlain, Liza Minnelli, Elliot Gould and, recently, American Idol finalist Anthony Fedorov.
The Snapple Theater Center is located at 210 West 50th Street (at Broadway).
Photos by Genevieve Rafter Keddy
The Fantasticks at 50
Ron Lee Savin and William Tost
William Tost and Bill Weeden
William Tost and his celebratory tie
Scott Willis of the current production starts the evening
Scott Willis and Kaia Helmers stacking the confetti
Rita Gardner-Star of the original production
Mary Noto-wife of the late Lore Noto
Orfeh and Daphne Rubin-Vega
Ramona Mallory and Douglas Ullman Jr.