FRIDAY 5 (+1): THE FANTASTICKS' Leach, Beckett and Hargis

FRIDAY 5 (+1): THE FANTASTICKS' Leach, Beckett and Hargis

Opening tonight in Franklin - at Pull-Tight Players Theatre - is The Fantasticks, the Pat Street-directed version of the world's longest running musical. The show ran for 53 years off-Broadway and now bows in Franklin for a three-weekend run.

Stars Jacqueline Leach, Lucas Beckett and Jeremy Hargis took time from their packed schedules to tell us more about themselves, as well as to offer some reasons why audiences should come see their show. Read all about it in the latest Friday 5 (+1) and make your reservations quickly - the show is bound to sell out!

FRIDAY 5 (+1): THE FANTASTICKS' Leach, Beckett and HargisJacqueline Leach (Luisa)

What was your first taste of "live, onstage" theater? My grandfather took me to see Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat in Toronto when I was very little. They invited me onstage during one of the songs and I loved it!

What is your favorite pre-show ritual? I always say, "Break a nail" instead of "Break a leg." When I was Liesl in The Sound of Music, the Von Trapp children and I would say that to each other since breaking a nail isn't nearly as bad as breaking a leg.

What is your favorite "the show must go on" moment? While touring with a children's theatre, we would often invite kids to play a small part in a scene on the spot. There were a number of times the kids would go "off-script." One time a child threatened to punish the big bad wolf and tried to teach him how to be nice. It was hysterical!

Who is your theatrical crush? I have talent crushes on Audra McDonald and Angela Lansbury!

What is your dream role? I would love to play Ariel in The Little Mermaid or Christine in The Phantom of the Opera.

Why should people come see THE FANTASTICKS? It has something for everyone! The music is stunning. Audiences will appreciate its sincerity and simplicity. Storytelling at its best!

FRIDAY 5 (+1): THE FANTASTICKS' Leach, Beckett and HargisLucas Beckett (Matt)

What was your first taste of live, onstage theatre? I grew up with the VHS of the live recording of the Cats original Broadway cast that I watched all the time. Sometimes I would watch it every night as I fell asleep for a week. Then my family went to New York one summer when I was eight or nine and we saw The Phantom of the Opera. It was an awesome experience.

What is your favorite Pre-Show ritual? I almost always try and bring some headphones with me to the theatre and listen to a playlist of some of my favorite up-tempo "pump-up" songs to get me ready to perform.

What is your favorite "the-show-must-go-on" moment? Once in high school, my Theatre 3/4 class was putting on a musical adaptation of A Midsummer Night's Dream. I was playing Puck and it was right after a big scene where I put a spell on all of the actors. I have just finished my big monologue and I turn to run off stage but I trip on the set, and instead I actually fly offstage. I had a huge welt on my leg and everyone in the audience could tell that I had just tripped, it was really embarrassing.

Who is your theatrical crush? I've always been a very big fan of Audra McDonald and Norm Lewis, but I mean, who isn't? I think the first time I left a production and felt that I couldn't stop thinking about an actor's talent was when I saw the Broadway play Heisenberg with Mary-Louise Parker. Her immense talent in that role stuck with me and left me with a lot of respect and admiration for her as an actor.

What is your dream role? Playing Matt in The Fantasticks was actually a dream role of mine for many years growing up, but my biggest dream role is to one day play Georg in She Loves Me.

Why should people come see The Fantasticks? This show really is a timeless story with an undying message. With classic songs and an emotion-filled storyline, it really has something for everyone. I think audiences are going to leave our production with a new appreciation for what it means to grow up.

FRIDAY 5 (+1): THE FANTASTICKS' Leach, Beckett and HargisJeremy Hargis (El Gallo)

What was your first taste of live, onstage theatre? The first show I ever saw was the national tour of West Side Story and I fell in love with it! I later played Baby John in my high school production of it which was my first musical to perform in. It still holds a special place in my heart.

What is your favorite Pre-Show ritual? Take time for myself to run through lines and focus, mentally preparing for what I'm about to do.

What is your favorite "the-show-must-go-on" moment The power went out during a performance of Godspell at Pull-Tight Theatre several years ago. Instead of canceling the show or sitting backstage waiting for the power to come back on, the cast decided to join the audience in the dark and entertained them by telling jokes and having a sing-along, etc. We then decided to continue the show as an acoustic version with a couple band members who could still play and with just the emergency lights and flashlights. After a couple songs, the power thankfully came back on and we were able to go back to where we left off. It was a disappointing problem turned into a positive, fun experience for all which I'll never forget.

Who is your theatrical crush? Aaron Tveit - need I say more?!

What is your dream role? I have always wanted to play Seymour from Little Shop of Horrors, but if I get too old for him, then Javert from Les Miserables is another dream role.

Why should people come see The Fantasticks? It's the longest running musical in history which is a must see! It's a magical story with lessons we can all learn from. Plus, you have to see the simple but beautiful set designed by the talented Jacob Heinz and a perfect cast put together by our wonderful director Pat Street!

About the show Following its recent closing in New York as the world's longest-running musical, Pull-Tight Players is pleased to present this audience favorite that ran for 53 years Off-Broadway and was awarded Tony Honors for Excellence in Theatre.

The Fantasticks tells a simple tale of "a boy, a girl, two fathers, and a wall." Using both familiar and unconventional theatrical Pull-Tight Players in Franklin, TN is proud to present The Fantasticks as the opening production of its techniques, it urges audiences to use their imagination to follow the narrator, El Gallo, as he creates a world of moonlight and magic, of carnivals and burning disillusion. With book/lyrics by Tom Jones and music by Harvey Schmidt, this romantic fable of boy meets girl takes the audience on a mystical journey through love, innocence lost, disenchantment, and finally wisdom, with a lot of laughs along the way. The engaging score includes the songs "Try to Remember," "Soon It's Gonna Rain," and "They Were You."

Director Pat Street's cast includes Jeremy Hargis takes on the iconic role of El Gallo. Jacqueline Leach plays Luisa (the Girl) and Lucas Beckett plays Matt (the Boy). Howard Snyder plays Bellomy (the Girl's Father) and Mark Buchanan plays Hucklebee (the Boy's Father). Dan Zeigler plays Henry, Clay Walker plays Mortimer, and JK Gregg plays the Mute.

Street's production team includes producer Lynda Gibbs, music director Kyle Rybczyk, choreographers Becky Leopard and Christina Sartell, set designer Jacob Street, production stage manager Jeanne Drone, and bandleader Dann Childers.

If you go: The Fantasticks runs August 11-26, 2017; dates/times as follows:

August 11-12, 17-19, 24-26 at 7:30 PM

August 20 Sunday matinee at 2:30 PM

Tickets: $18 adults; $16 seniors (age 60 and up); $12 children & students (with student ID)

Tickets can be purchased online at www.pull-tight.com or by calling (615) 791-5007


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