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The Fantasticks

The Fantasticks
Your Price: $18.99 CDN
Author: Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt
Publisher: Applause Books
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 168
Pub. Date: 2000
ISBN-10: 1557831416
ISBN-13: 9781557831415

About the Book:

Tom Jones wrote the book and lyrics, and Harvey Schmidt wrote the music for The Fantasticks, which is the longest-running musical in world history and the longest-running play of any kind in American history, and with good reason: at the heart of its breathtaking poetry and subtle theatrical sophistication is a purity and simplicity that transcends cultural barriers. The result is a timeless fable of love that manages to be nostalgic and universal at the same time.

The Fantasticks is a funny and romantic musical that tells an age-old tale. Its ingredients are simple: a boy, a girl, two fathers who trick their children into falling in love, and a wall. Its scenery, a tattered cardboard moon, hovers over an empty wooden platform. With these bare essentials, Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt launched a theatrical phenomenon unmatched the world over.

The narrator, El Gallo, originally played by Jerry Orbach (the Tony Award-winning actor best known for his role as Detective Lennie Briscoe on TVs 'Law & Order'), asks the audience to use their imagination and follow him into a world of moonlight and magic. The boy and the girl fall in madly in love at the hands of their meddling fathers, but soon 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". The Fantasticks is a quintessential celebration of love in all its gorgeous simplicity and heartbreaking complexities.

The Fantasticks began as a summer theatre production at Barnard College. In May of 1960 it opened Off-Broadway at the Sullivan Street Playhouse in Greenwich Village and closed forty-two years later in 2002, logging a record-breaking 17,162 performances, becoming the longest-running musical in the in the world. Subsequently, a 2006 revival at the Jerry Orbach Theatre ran for almost eleven years. It has been seen all around the US, in dozens of foreign countries and languages, and remains one of the most frequently produced musicals in the world. Among the thousands of actors who have performed in The Fantasticks are: Anna Maria Alberghetti, Richard Chamberlain, Elliot Gould, Edward Everett Horton, Bert Lahr, Liza Minelli, Jerry Orbach, F. Murray Abraham, and Glenn Close.

What people say:

"Still the best... after all these years." — New York Post

"Richly illustrated, it is ideal for fans of the show, as well as admirers of musical theatre." — Variety

"Anybody who has seen the show (who hasn't?) should read the book." — Entertainment Today

"The perfect present for any Fantasticks fans." — Cleveland Plain Dealer

"A valuable resource. Recommended for all collections." — Choice

About the Playwright:

Composer Harvey Schmidt (1929-2018) and lyricist Tom Jones are the legendary writing team best known for shaping the American musical landscape with their hit, The Fantasticks. After its Off-Broadway opening in 1960, it ran for 42 years and became a staple of the New York City theatre scene, earning Jones and Schmidt a special Tony award for the show in 1992.