by Apr 5, 2015


The world’s longest running musical, THE FANTASTICKS is playing at Lyric’s Plaza Theatre right now! With a tuneful score, a charming story, and fun comic bits, it’s no wonder THE FANTASTICKS is one of the world’s most seen musicals. We hope you’re just as entranced with Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma’s production of the show today, as tens of thousands of theatre patrons have been since the show’s first performance on May 3, 1960.

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

In the 1960s, Broadway shows typically operated on a budget of $250,000. The original off-Broadway production of THE FANTASTICKS opened in 1960 and spent less than $1,500- approximately $12,000 in 2016 with inflation accounted for- on the set and costumes. When it first opened, the show got fine reviews, but certainly not raves. The show had no stars- Jerry Orbach and Rita Gardner, both in the original cast, were not household names yet- and no advertising budget. But, thanks to its modest set and cast, the show was able to pay its bills even when the theater was not at capacity.

This streak of genius by the show’s creative team- Tom Jones, Harvey Schmidt, and Word Baker, along with the show’s producer Lore Noto- allowed the show to continue performances for years and years and years.

It ran for over 17,000 performances at the Sullivan Street Playhouse, making it the world’s longest-running musical of all time.

This original production closed in 2002, after featuring stars such as Kristin Chenoweth, F. Murray Abraham, and Karen Culliver. After the closing of the original production, a small group of New York producers decided that New York City wasn’t the same without a production of THE FANTASTICKS. The revival opened in 2006 at the Snapple Theatre Center, in a space modeled on the original Sullivan Street Playhouse. In 2015, the show announced its closing date, but was quickly met with large donations that cancelled the closing notice and guaranteed future performances.

To read more about Lyric’s production of this classic, and to get your tickets, go here. We’ll see you at the theater!

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