The Fantasticks is set to run from September 7th -17th at the iconic Dennis, MA theater.
As the Cape celebrates the final days of its summer season and soaks up the last rays of sunshine before fall descends, it isn’t time to give your bittersweet adieu to Cape Cod theater just yet.
The Cape Playhouse, the country’s longest running professional summer theater, will end its exciting 2022 summer season with its upcoming production of The Fantasticks. What better way to round out a fantastic repertoire of shows, and who better than the Playhouse to bring the longest running musical in world history to a Cape Cod stage? Undoubted to leave as lasting an impression on Cape audiences, The Fantasticks is set to run from September 7th -17th at the iconic Dennis theater.
Once reputed by the New York Times as “the place where Broadway goes to Summer”, the Playhouse lured big-name stars to its stage while also providing much-needed refuge from the sweltering New York heat. Over the course of 96 years, the Playhouse has continued to uphold its high caliber of professional talent. It was named one of the 50 Best Small Stage Theaters in America, and since its humble beginnings has seen the likes of such talent as Henry Fonda, Julie Andrews and Betty White grace its stage (to name just a few!).
Loosely based on Edmond Rostand’s play “Les Romanesque”, The Fantasticks features a book by Tom Jones and lyrics by Harvey Schmidt. A beautiful story with a memorable score, The Fantasticks made its premiere at the Sullivan Street Playhouse (a small, off-Broadway theater in Greenwich Village, NYC) in 1960. With a total of 17,162 performances over the course of 42 years, it finally concluded its run in 2002. Four years later, the show made its off-Broadway revival at the Jerry Orbach Theatre in Times Square under the direction of show lyricist Tom Jones. 3,510 performances later and in addition to its world history record, The Fantasticks was named the longest running live performing arts show of any kind in US history and is considered one of the most successful stage shows of all time.
Under the direction of Tony Award-winning Artistic Director David Elliott (who makes his Playhouse directorial debut), The Fantasticks is now brought to the stage to continue its tradition of delighting audiences around the world.
The Fantasticks tells the comedic yet heartwarming story of a boy and girl, whose fathers try to keep them apart. Secretly though, their efforts are meant to bring their children even closer together. The narrator, El Gallo, asks the audience to use their imagination and follow him into a world of moonlight and magic as the boy and girl navigate their way through the trials of falling in love, growing apart and finally finding their way back to each other. Finding truth in El Gallo’s wise words that “without a hurt, the heart is hollow”, The Fantasticks is a beautiful ode to the mystery of the heart and realizing what it truly desires. Featuring the well-known song “Try to Remember” among others that will leave you humming the night away, it is the perfect show to end an already enchanting summer season.
Director David Elliott comments on the beauty that is The Fantasticks, and the Playhouse’s choice to add this additional production to round out its 96th season. “When I came on board at the Cape Playhouse last January, the full roster of productions for the 2022 season had already been scheduled, but we chose to add The Fantasticks. I embraced the chance to direct the show and pull together a wonderfully creative design team. And our cast of gifted performers will deliver a beautiful and moving event on the stage of the Cape Playhouse”.
The Playhouse welcomes a multi-talented cast to make The Fantasticks something audiences will not soon forget. In the role of Hucklebee (the Boy’s Father) is William Thomas Evans who, over an impressive thirty-year career, has played three different roles in this production. In the past eight years, you may have seen him as Santa Claus in the Radio City Spectacular. Making his Cape Playhouse debut in the role of Bellomy (the Girl’s Father) is Eric Michael Gillett. In addition to being the ringmaster for Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus from 1987-97, Gillett received the first American Songbook Association’s Darrell Henline Award which honored his Broadway and off-Broadway career.
Joining Evans and Gillett is Broadway/off Broadway veteran Christopher Gurr as Henry (the Actor), David Hughey (who appeared in such movies as “Twelve Years a Slave”) as the Narrator, El Gallo, Broadway, off-Broadway and Cape Playhouse veteran Jonathan Spivey as Mortimer (the Man Who Dies), Cape Playhouse newbie Levin Valayil as Matt (the Boy), Charity Van Tassel as the Mute (who also serves as the show’s choreographer) and NY-born actress, singer, writer and poet Rebbekah Vega-Romero, who makes her Cape Playhouse debut as Luisa (the Girl).
Joining them off-stage is a wonderful creative team, made up of Scenic Designer Daniel Whiting, Costume Designer Jennifer Paar, Lighting Designer Kirk Bookman, Sound Designer and Engineer Jacob Levitin, Stage Manager Caroline Pastore and Fight Director Rod Kinter. Leading the show’s orchestrations is Music Director/pianist Dan Pardo, who directs Katie Kohlin and Maria Spraker on harp and Brian O’Neill on percussion.
The Fantasticks begins performances at the Cape Playhouse (located at 820 Main Street in Dennis) on September 7th, and will run through September 17th. Single tickets range from $45 – $80, with a 15% discount for groups of 10 or more. The performance runs approximately 2 hours and 15 minutes (with one intermission), and is appropriate for all ages. For more information on purchasing both single tickets and season packages, please click here. You can also find information on all upcoming productions at the Playhouse, in addition to anything you’d like to know about this Cape Cod staple, by checking out their website here.
While you’re at the Playhouse, please be sure to check out its expansive 22-acre campus, which houses both the Cape Cod Museum of Art and the Cape Cinema. It’s a truly wonderful day spent in Dennis, so please take advantage of all that the Cape Playhouse and the remaining days of summer on Cape Cod has to offer!
ABOUT THE CAPE PLAYHOUSE
The Cape Playhouse at The Cape Center for the Arts was founded in 1927 by Raymond Moore. His vision
was to create a smart, sophisticated summer theatre with some of the world’s most noted stage and screen
The Cape Playhouse at The Cape Cod Center for the Arts was founded in 1927 by Raymond Moore. His vision was to create a smart, sophisticated summer theatre with some of the world’s most noted stage and screen professionals. The realization of Moore’s dream has since been recognized by The New York Times, acknowledging the Playhouse as the “Place Where Broadway Goes to Summer.” Today, the theatre continues to feature world-class talent in shows produced specifically for The Cape Playhouse and is one of Cape Cod’s premier cultural assets. In addition to professional live-theatre experiences, the not-for-profit Playhouse is committed to serving the local community through its youth programming and arts education. The historic theatre is situated on an expansive 22-acre campus in Dennis Village.