Much More: A FANTASTICK History

by Mar 7, 2016

“Try to Remember” 56 years ago when THE FANTASTICKS opened off-Broadway…

This spring, Lyric is bringing a timeless classic back to Oklahoma City. THE FANTASTICKS is a musical by Harvey Schmidt and Tom Jones that tells the universal story of Matt and Luisa, their fathers’ secret plotting, and the wall that keeps them apart. The narrator leads the audience along a winding journey of young love and the power it holds. With classics such as “Try to Remember” and “Soon It’s Gonna Rain,” the beautifully poetic score guarantees an evening of imagination and reflection.

“Anything else that’s needed, we can get from out this box.” -El Gallo

In the 1960’s, Broadway shows typically operated on a budget of $250,000. The original off-Broadway production of THE FANTASTICKS opened in 1960 using a budget of less than $1,500 on the set and costumes. It ran for over 17,000 performances, making it the world’s longest-running musical of all time. This production closed in 2002, after featuring stars such as Kristin Chenoweth, Jerry Orbach (original cast), F. Murray Abraham, and Karen Culliver.
The 2006 off-Broadway revival is still currently running at the Snapple Theatre Center in New York City. In 2015, the show announced its closing, but was quickly met with large donations that cancelled the closing notice and guaranteed future performances.

Luisa (Janice Coffman) and Matt (Doug Dial) share a moment during Lyric Theatre’s 1975 production of The Fantasticks in the Kirkpatrick Auditorium at Oklahoma City University. Photo: Lyric Archives

Luisa (Janice Coffman) and Matt (Doug Dial) share a moment during Lyric Theatre’s 1975 production of The Fantasticks in the Kirkpatrick Auditorium at Oklahoma City University. Photo: Lyric Archives

 

Lyric Theatre’s 2016 production, directed by associate artistic director Ashley Wells, will feature an 8-person cast of newcomers and Lyric veterans. Leading the cast as young Matt and Luisa are local college students Nate Stukey and Arden Walker. Lyric’s Mat Govich will play The Narrator, telling the story and leading the audience along. The two fathers are played by Thomas E. Cunningham and Brian Stockton. Rounding out the cast are Terry Runnels as Henry, Hassan Nazari-Robati as Mortimer, and Sheridan McMichael as The Mute.

Join us April 6-24 at Lyric Theatre at the Plaza to see this timeless tale unfold. Tickets for THE FANTASTICKS can be purchased here, or by calling the box office at (405) 524-9312.

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