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A Parable About Love
Suggested by a play called Les Romanesques by Edmond Rostand
Book and Lyrics by TOM JONES

New York Run: Sullivan Street Playhouse, May 3, 1960

Plot Synopsis

The Fantasticks, "a parable about love" was written by Tom Jones with music composed by Harvey Schmidt. It opened May 3, 1960 at the tiny 200-300 seat Sullivan Street Playhouse, Off-Broadway. The original cast featured Jerry Orbach as El Gallo, the Narrator.

The play is based on a play called Les Romanesques by Edmond Rostand.

Since the day it opened, this gentle play with music has enchanted theatre-goers and received wide critical acclaim. The original production cost the producers $16,500 and by 1984, this tiny show had made $2,686,000.

Perhaps one of the reasons the play is so popular is due to its simplicity and universality. The theme of falling in love, losing love, and finally gaining knowledge in love, is basic to all of us.

This topic is presented in a stylized way, not at all like a conventional musical, which can feature large casts, lavish sets and big production numbers. The Fantasticks has only nine players and a simple black set which never changes. The Mutes, two mime/dancers, are used to set and remove benches and chairs and arrange props.

Here is what the author of the piece has written about the style:
"We all know what regular musicals are like and how they are normally staged. And yet this musical is different. It has a small cast. It has no scenery to speak of. The people in it are realistic and at the same time stylized too... It should be played as closely to audience as possible... Each actor considers the audience to be his friend... Search for the reality of the people. Try to believe in their existence. Try to feel what they feel."


Cast of Characters

The Narrator (El Gallo) Jerry Orbach
The Girl (Luisa) Rita Gardner
The Boy (Matt) Kenneth Nelson
The Boy's Father (Hucklebee) Hugh Thomas
The Girl's Father (Bellomy) William Larson
The Actor Tom Jones
The Indian George Curley

Songs from the Show - Act One

Overture Company
Try to Remember The Narrator
Much More The Girl
Metaphor The Boy and the Girl
Never Say No The Fathers
It Depends on What You Pay The Narrator and the Fathers
Soon It's Gonna Rain The Boy and the Girl
Rape Ballet Company
Happy Ending Company

Songs from the Show - Act Two

This Plum is Too Ripe The Boy, the Girl and the Fathers
I Can See It The Boy and the Narrator
Plant a Radish The Fathers
Round and Round The Narrator, the Girl and the Company
They Were You The Boy and the Girl
Try to Remember (Reprise) The Narrator and Company

1985-1986 Production

Presented March 14-22, 1986 at the High School of Commerce Auditorium, Ottawa, Ontario

1985-1986 Review 

Production Team

Artistic Director Richard Elichuk
Musical Director Drummond Hudson
Choreographer Karen Riopelle
Assistant Director Sheila Shields
Production Coordinator Terry Moran
Associate Production Coordinator Faye Lavell
Set Designer Margaret Comeau
Costume Designer Michael Gareau
Master Cutter Raymond Whitney
Lighting Designer Nancy Turner
Sound and Sound Effects Bill Butterworth
Stage Manager Ginny Day
Assistant Stage Manager Tom Shields
Head Flyman Marylin Day
Workshop Chairman/Master Carpenter Tom Shields
Properties Mistress Robin Monaghan
Hair Stylist Raymond Whitney
Make-up Artist Susan Fowler
Accompanist John McGovern 


The Narrator (El Gallo) Dan Baran
The Girl (Luisa) Cheryl Knight
The Boy (Matt) Frayne McCarthy
The Boy's Father (Hucklebee) Barry Caiger
The Girl's Father (Bellomy) Vern Fraser
The Actor (Henry) Jack Wallace
The Man Who Dies (Mortimer) Wayne Nolan
The Mutes Teri Boone, Michael Gareau


Under the direction of Drummond Hudson

Double Bass Jamie Gatti
Percussion Art Beers
Harp George Crews
Piano John McGovern 

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