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Cast and Crew Announced for Citadel Theatre's THE FANTASTICKS


Cast and Crew Announced for Citadel Theatre's THE FANTASTICKS

Citadel Theatre has announced the cast and crew for the third production of its 17th season - THE FANTASTICKS. The world's longest running musical, THE FANTASTICKS tells the story of Matt and Luisa, young next-door neighbors who fall in love precisely because their scheming fathers, knowing the kids will do exactly what they're told NOT to do, have been keeping them apart.

Playing the central role of El Gallo, who both narrates the story and figures prominently in it, will be Brian Hupp, whose credits include roles and guest performances with opera companies and symphony orchestras across the Midwest as well as such iconic musical theatre roles as Sweeney Todd, and Sky Masterson in GUYS AND DOLLS. The young couple Matt and Luisa will be played by Jonah Cochin (of Citadel's recent ANNIE) and Aurora Penepacker, a graduate of Glenbrook South High School who will complete a degree in musical theater at the Chicago College of Performing Arts of this Spring. John B. Boss and Bill Chamberlain (Warbucks and Roosevelt, respectively, in Citadel's ANNIE) will play the fathers, Hucklebee and Bellomy. Completing the cast will be John Benischek, also of Citadel's ANNIE cast, as Mortimer, Henry Michael Odum (Henry), and Kristina (The Mute). Understudies are Christopher Johnson (El Gallo), Brooks Whitlock (Matt), Emily Lewis (Luisa, The Mute), and Joshua Seeger (Hucklebee, Bellomy, Mortimer, and Henry).

THE FANTASTICKS will be directed by longtime Citadel collaborator Pat Murphy, who has directed A CHRISTMAS CAROL, DEATHTRAP, OLIVER, and LIGHT UP THE SKY at Citadel. Jake Ganzer, who was choreographer of the recent Citadel musicals ANNIE and JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT, will choreograph. The music director is Aaron Kaplan of the music faculties at the Music Institute of Chicago and Glenbrook North and Glenbrook South High Schools. The design team includes the Jeff Award-winning designers Eric Luchen (Scenic Design) and Diane D. Fairchild (Lighting Design), along with Emily N. Brink (Costume Design), Bob Boxer (Sound Design), and Donna Price (Props Designer). Samantha Tink is Stage Manager and Evan Sposato is Master Carpenter.

THE FANTASTICKS originally opened off -Broadway in New York City's Greenwich Village in 1960 where it played until 2002. In 2006 it was remounted in a new theater in Times Square where it ran another 11 years, easily making its combined 53-year run the longest of any musical. It includes the song "Try to Remember," which entreats audiences to remember a sweeter, gentler time. Writers Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt adapted their story from a play by Edmund Rostand (writer of CYRANO DE BERGERAC) in which two neighbors plot to make their children fall in love and marry each other by forbidding them to ever see each other, knowing that children will most want to do what they are told not to do. The boy and girl find a way to meet despite the wall that separates them, but they learn some hard lessons about romance and adventure vs. real life before the musical ends. Single tickets for THE FANTASTICKS are now on sale at



Music by Harvey Schmidt, Book and Lyrics by Tom Jones

Directed by Pat Murphy

Choreography by Jake Ganzer

Music Direction by Aaron Kaplan

Friday, February 7, 2020 - Sunday, March 8, 2020

(Previews February 5 and 6 @ 7:30 pm)

Press Opening Friday, February 7 @ 8:00 pm

Thursdays at 7:30 pm, Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 pm, Sundays at 3 pm.

Preview ticket prices - $20.00. Regular run prices Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays $40.00; Saturdays and Sundays $45.00. Discounts available for groups, seniors and student.

Citadel Theatre, 300 S. Waukegan Road, Lake Forest, IL

Tickets available online at or by phone at 847-735-8554, ext. 1

THE FANTASTICKS is a funny and romantic musical about a boy, a girl, and their two fathers who try to keep them apart. The narrator, El Gallo, asks the audience to use their imagination and follow him into a world of moonlight and magic. The boy and the girl fall in love, grow apart and finally find their way back to each other after realizing the truth in El Gallo's words that, "without a hurt, the heart is hollow."

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