Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Fantasticks 50th Anniversary Festivities

I don't think anyone in 1960 would have remotely thought that The Fantasticks would become one of the most popular musicals in the world. The original off-Broadway production ran for 42 years; a run of 17,162 performances at the Sullivan Street Theater. By popular demand, a revival was mounted a mere four years later, one that is still running at the Jerry Orbach Theater (named in memory of the beloved star of the original cast) in the Snapple Arts Center on 50th Street & Broadway. The little musical that could is celebrating its fiftieth birthday in high style with a weekend-long golden celebration:

- Saturday, May 1 at 5PM: The Fantasticks will host a rare screening of the 1964 Hallmark Hall of Fame version of the show at The Snapple Theater Center. This obscure print, which hasn’t been released since 1964, features a cast including Bert Lahr, Ricardo Montalban, Susan Watson, Stanley Holloway and John Davidson. It will be screened complete with original commercials and will be introduced by film historian Phil Hall, author of The Encyclopedia of Underground Movies. Following the one-hour screening, there will be an audience Q&A with Fantasticks lyricist/librettist Tom Jones and one of the film’s stars, Susan Watson. Admission is free.

- Saturday, May 1 at 8PM: The Fantasticks will celebrate “The Sullivan Street Legacy”. At curtain call, a once-in-a-lifetime reunion of over 50 Fantasticks actors from the show’s original run on Sullivan Street from 1960 to the present will come on stage to sing a special song to commemorate the occasion.

- Sunday, May 2: The Fantasticks will be honored at the 25th Annual Lucille Lortel Awards at Terminal 5. Edward Watts, the show’s current El Gallo, will sing “Try To Remember” and a photo montage will recount the show’s amazing 50-year history. Tom Jones, the show’s co-composer, will present the final award of the evening, to the winner of Best Musical.

- Monday, May 3: The evening of the show's actual 50th anniversary will bring together members of the theater community together to celebrate the milestone. All audience members at the historic 8PM performance will receive a complimentary commemorative program including a reproduction of the show’s opening night program from May 3, 1960. *A select number of remaining tickets for this performance only are currently on sale for the special anniversary price of $50 each. This offer is available by calling the box office at (212) 921-7862. It is not available via Ticketmaster.

1 comment:

Jason said...

Nice piece. Here's a link to an article that lists a bunch of cool FANTASTICKS giveaways, links, articles, etc.: