Off-Broadway will never be the same. Mounting a show in New York City, on or Off-Broadway, is a huge risk. This isn’t a new concept to fans or producers who often times lose everything they have invested in a show. Despite all, there are few shows that triumph and remain through it all. A staple in the Off-Broadway community, The Fantasticks has announced it will shutter this season. Despite closing once before, this most recent revival of the production has still manage to win over those who love this production and story. Today, Luner on Theatre brings you the news that The Fantasticks has announced it will close Off-Broadway this May!
The Fantasticks features music by Harvey Schmidt with a book and lyrics by Tom Jones. The musical is a love story about two neighboring fathers who plot for their children to fall in love with one another. The musical is based on of the play Les Romanesques by Edmond Rostand.
The Fantasticks will shutter after 55 years Off-Broadway in New York City. The original production opened May 3rd, 1960. The production is set to shutter on the exact same date 55 years later. The current production, which launched in 2006, is a revival after the original closed in 2002. During it’s time in New York, the production has played two separate theaters. When it closes, the production will have played 20,672 total performances with 17,162 of them taking place at the Sullivan Street Playhouse in the Village. The remaining 3,510 performances have taken place at the Jerry Orbach Theater at the Snapple Theater Center located in Midtown. The musical is the longest running musical in the world and the longest running play of any kind in American history.
The Snapple Theatre Center was recently renamed The Theatre Center and Snapple logos located outside have been being removed from the building. Daniel DeMello, the production’s spokesperson, noted that the name change to the building was not a factor in the production’s decision to close. In a statement, DeMello stated, “Sales have been way down, and they (the producers) just don’t have the funding to keep it going anymore. It’s really as simple as that.” DeMello went a step further to mention that the venue’s two other production’s; Perfect Crime, the longest running play in New York, and Sit Down, Shut Up and Eat, would remain in the building indefinitely.
The current cast of The Fantasticks includes Edward Watts as El Gallo, Daniel Berryman as Matt, Samantha Bruce as Luisa, Donald Corren as Hucklebee, Joe Dellger as Bellomy, MacIntyre Dixon as Henry, Michael Nostrand as Mortimer and Drew Siegla as The Mute. The production also features Dave Schoonover, Rita Markova and Tom Flagg. DeMello did not make it clear if the current cast would be the final cast for the production.
The loss of The Fantasticks to the New York theatre scene is a major blow. The Fantasticks has remained an Off-Broadway staple for just as long as anyone remembers. Despite the production having closed once just over a decade ago, this time around a revival just years after closing does not look as promising. Producers are competing with a harder market not only on Broadway but off also. The market has changed drastically since this revival launched in 2006. The nine-year run for the show is still incredibly impressive and the show has served as a launching point for many artists who have taken classic tunes from the musical. The production has also become a staple of regional, university and high school theatre around the country.
The final curtain for off-Broadway’s The Fantasticks comes down May 3rd, 2015, 55 years to the date it originally opened in New York City! Don’t miss your chance to experience the world’s longest running musical in New York before it shutters. This New York staple will be truly missed and now is the time to see it before it’s gone for good. For more information, visit The Fantasticks Official Website, Facebook Page or Twitter. And of course, be sure to check out the rest of Luner on Theatre for all your theatre news you don’t only need but want to know!
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