THE FANTASTICKS CONTINUES TO ENCHANT US ALL WITH A SPIRIT ALL OF ITS OWN!
Abounding was a feeling of anticipation.. a wondrous evening of theatre at The Fantasticks Opening Night in the beautiful, spacious Marriot Pavilion at the Culinary Institute of America (Hyde Park). As we took our seats, the set, beautifully designed by Kathryn Lieber in mauve and pink tones, and built on various stage levels, heartily welcomed us. With just moments till Curtain, we reminisced: Joe and I first saw the Fantasticks in the 1960’s at the Charles St. Playhouse, Boston. It was the production’s very first performance there and, incidentally, our first theatre date. Music and Songs, written by Harvey Schmidt and Tom Jones, “Try to Remember” and “Soon It’s Going to Rain” are songs that we still enjoy, play oftentimes and frequently hum. We have seen and enjoyed the production with our family many times since then, both in NYC and locally .
The Half Moon Theatre’s current production is a sparkling gem!! From beginning to end, we viewed the exquisitely, artfully staged musical in amazement and delight. Our hats are off to Michael Schiralli, Director, explaining in the Program, how the story of the boy and girl who fall in love and try to find themselves, employs styles from Shakespearean soliloquies, Commedia dell’ arte , the Noh theatre and “ poetic inspiration from Beat Generation”.
Director Schiralli gifts the audience with a clearly communicated story. There is a sense of great “teamwork” among the cast as the action unfolds before us. We are engaged and fascinated by the characters and concerned about their fates.
Each cast member played his/her role to perfection. The music, acting, dance, costumes, props, lighting, stage movement, elegant and most memorable, strongly recreating for this era even more of the magic that is The Fantasticks: The Mute, (Deborah Coconis), well portrayed and right on the mark ; El Gallo, (Michael Padgett), striking and handsome; Luisa, (Emily Wexler), the wistful, beautiful and charming sixteen year old; Matt, ( Andrew J. Martin), twenty year old, strikingly played, deeply in Love with Luisa; Hucklebee (Paul Kassel) and Bellomy (David Simpatico) their Dads, both outstanding with just the right touch of comedy; Henry( Roger Hendricks Simon) and Mortimer (Wayne Pyle) both Hilarious as the nefarious Actors, adding much vigor and color to the show. Nick DeGregorio, Musical Director and Pianist and Joy Plaisted, Harpist, both highly accomplished musicians created an evening of musical splendor from Overture to Finale. We truly enjoyed this marvelous production of The Fantasticks and want to express our appreciation to all involved.
(The show will continue weekends through May 10. Tickets: Half Moon Theatre, PO Box 3434 Poughkeepsie, NY 12603; (845) 235-9885- www.halfmoontheatre.org )
Photo Courtesy of Joe Kantor
Photo’s below courtesy of Diane Stredicke
“Soon It’s Gonna Rain” Luisa (Emily Wexler), Matt (Andrew Joseph Martin), and The Mute (Deborah Coconis)
Fall in love with The Fantasticks, featuring Emily Wexler, David Simpatico, Michael Padgett, Wayne Pyle, and Deborah Coconis.