CHESTERTON | 4th Street Theater presents The Fantasticks, first produced in 1960 by Lore Noto with music by Harvey Schmidt, lyrics by Tom Jones. Within the framework of “boy meets girl/boy loses girl/boy gets girl,” Jones and Schmidt explore the importance of knowing unhappiness in our lives to truly appreciate happiness when it comes. Loosely based on the play The Romancers (Les Romanesques) by Edmond Rostand, it concerns two fathers who trick their children into falling in love by forbidding their meeting. When the children discover the deception, they reject the arranged love match and separate. Each gains experiences in the real world, and they return bruised but enlightened.
The show’s original off-Broadway production ran at the Sullivan Street Playhouse for 42 years and 17,162 performances. The last performance of The Fantasticks was in January 2002, when the Playhouse closed and the theatre building was sold. Re-opening in 2006, it is still running at the Jerry Orbach Theatre, fittingly named in honor of the show’s original star, making it the world’s longest-running musical. It was awarded Tony Honors for Excellence in Theatre in 1991. The poetic book and breezy, inventive score, including such familiar songs as "Try to Remember," helped make this show so durable.
4th Street’s production is directed by Linda Pauli of Chesterton, with music direction by Pam Spitzner of Chicago. The cast includes Tony Balsamo and Ric Heath of Michigan City, Jacob Barber of Crown Point, Laura Blythe of Porter, Matthew Byerly and Courtney Jurick of Valparaiso, Stephen Ellis of LaPorte and Kevin Doler of Chesterton, who also designed the set. Choreography is by Eric Schaefer of Chesterton, costumes are designed by Stanlee Hodsden of Portage and lighting is by Wayne Wendell of Chicago.
The Fantasticks opens on Friday, March 1st and runs through Sunday, March 17th with shows on March 1, 2, 8, 9, 14, 15 and 16 at 8:00 pm and March 10 & 17 at 3:00 pm. Admission is $18.00. Reservations are suggested due to limited seating, and can be made by calling the box office at 219-926-7875. The 4th Street Theater is located at 125 N. 4th Street in Chesterton.