The Fantasticks, the world’s longest running musical, has been running off-Broadway for 52 years. It has been revived at the Jerry Orbach Theater at the Snapple Theater Center. Has this musical discovered the secret to longevity? Read to find out!
I recently saw the musical with my kids (ages 6 and almost 4) and although the story was over their heads, they loved the comic scenes and the songs. I could tell my oldest was also paying attention to the words. The songs were very much in the style of a typical musical and were so catchy, that the kids and I were able to sing a little after the show, on our way home. My favorites songs are Try To Remember, Soon It Will Be Rain, Never Say No, but almost all of the others are also unforgettable and make you want to run home to get them on iTunes. The seven-person cast was perfect and professional and each held their own, especially when it came to singing these timeless songs.
The plot is based on Edmond Rostand’s French play, Les Romanesques and adapted by Tom Jones (books, lyrics, director) and Harvey Schmidt (music). In this unique, charming story, two men hatch a plan to get their son and daughter to marry but when everything goes according to plan, the unexpected happens.
The Fantasticks is the most frequently-produced musical in the world, in part due to its minimalistic set design and two-person orchestra (pianist and harpist). With virtually no real props, confetti plays a major role here. It’s almost as if adding props would take away from the beauty of the show and the confetti seems to do everything that real props are missing. (Disclaimer: I’m kind of a confetti junkie – I even had it at my wedding!)
The theater is very small so every single seat has a great view and you can see the actors very well, including their facial expressions. This intimate setting kind of makes you feel like you are getting a private performance, which is really cool, especially since this is a world-class musical with top-notch performances. It’s especially accommodating because there are booster seats for kids and you can purchase drinks and snacks outside and bring them in with you to snack on while watching the show.
The production is minimalistic; the cast is small and there isn’t much of a stage or props, which goes to show that for a musical to be successful and run for 52 years all you really need is a talented cast, a compelling and unique story and songs that are so powerful they remain with you long after the confetti is swept off the floor.
Where: The Snapple Theater Center
210 West 50th Street (between Broadway & 8th Ave.)
New York, NY
When: The Fantasticks is performed eight times a week with matinee performances on Wednesday and Saturday at 2pm; Sunday at 3pm. Evening shows are Monday, Tuesday, Friday, Saturday at 8pm and Sunday at 7:30pm. There are no performances on Thursday.
How Much: $51.50-76.50 standard admission; $125 premium seating (plus fees)
To purchase tickets:
By phone: (212) 921-7862. You can order online here.
Box Office hours: M-Sat: 10am-6 or 8pm; Sun: 11am-7:30pm
I was not compensated for this post. I received tickets to the show.