News Archive – Page 2

The Next Musical Theatre Melodies features Leslie Bricusse and Doctor Doolittle

The next “Musical Theatre Melodies” broadcast on 96.5 FM on Tuesday, 25th July will feature the 1967 film soundtrack recording with Rex Harrison of Leslie Briscusse’s Doctor Doolittle  followed by selections from the 1988 London World premiere stage adaptation  starring Phillip Schofield. The programme will be the first of three to be introduced by Leslie Bricusse.


The broadcast will go “to air” between 9 – 11 p.m. EST local Melbourne time; (= 12 noon – 2 p.m. BST in Britain; = 11 p.m. – 1 a.m. NZST; = 7 – 9 a.m. EDT New York time; = 4 – 6 a.m. PDT Los Angeles time.) For those listening in via the Internet on 96.5 Inner FM’s website the webpage link for the Inner FM Web Radio player is  http://right-click.com.au/rcPlayer/index.php?c=innerfm or go to the Inner FM homepage at www.innerfm.org.au and follow the links.
ILLUSTRATIONS FROM THE OVERTURES ARCHIVES

Xanadu and The Main Event – Musical Theatre Melodies

The next “Musical Theatre Melodies” broadcast on 96.5 FM on Tuesday, 18th July will feature a 10th Anniversary tribute to Jeff Lynne and John Farrar’s Xanadu, (based on the Universal Pictures film), from the 2007 original Broadway cast recording starring Kerry Butler, Cheyenne Jackson and Tony Roberts this will be followed with highlights from The Main Event, from the 1998 “live” Australian concert recording starring Olivia Newton-John, John Farnham and Anthony Warlow. 

 
The broadcast will go “to air” between 9 – 11 p.m. EST local Melbourne time; (= 12 noon – 2 p.m. BST in Britain; = 11 p.m. – 1 a.m. NZST; = 7 – 9 a.m. EDT New York time; = 4 – 6 a.m. PDT Los Angeles time.) For those listening in via the Internet on 96.5 Inner FM’s website the webpage link for the Inner FM Web Radio player is  http://right-click.com.au/rcPlayer/index.php?c=innerfm or go to the Inner FM homepage at www.innerfm.org.au and follow the links.

 

NINE – the musical gets the Musical Theatre Melodies treatment

“Musical Theatre Melodies” broadcast on 96.5 FM on Tuesday, 11th July will feature a 30th Anniversary tribute to the Australian premiere of Maury Yeston’s Nine, (based on the Federico Fellini film ), from the 1987 original Australian cast recording starring John Diedrich, Maria Mercedes, Peta Toppano, Jacki Rees, Gerda Nicolson, Caroline Gillmer and Nancye Hayes. This will be preceded by an introduction (via Skype) from New York-based theatre critic and Internet columnist – Peter Filichia.
The show originally opened at Broadway’s 46th Street Theatre on 9th May 1982, where it ran for 729 performances. Rob Marshall directed a film adaptation which opened in cinemas in December 1989/
The broadcast will go “to air” between 9 – 11 p.m. EST local Melbourne time; (= 12 noon – 2 p.m. BST in Britain; = 11 p.m. – 1 a.m. NZST; = 7 – 9 a.m. EDT New York time; = 4 – 6 a.m. PDT Los Angeles time.) For those listening in via the Internet on 96.5 Inner FM’s website the webpage link for the Inner FM Web Radio player is  http://right-click.com.au/rcPlayer/index.php?c=innerfm or go to the Inner FM homepage at www.innerfm.org.au and follow the links.

The Ever Lucrative Theatre Merchandising Is Nothing New – as our Archives can show

We are now used to coffee mugs, key rings, T-Shirts and a huge variety of items that theatre producers put before their audiences to help increase the show’s income.  There was a song in the long running Broadway revue Forbidden Broadway entitled Cameron Mackintosh: ‘My Souvenir Things’ sung to the tune of My Favourite Things from The Sound of Music.  But Sir Cameron was not the first to cash in on a success.  Other than Souvenir Books and Programmes there were examples of merchandising back a century ago and we have some in Overtures Archives.

Chu Chin Chow – that mega hit of the First World War had a souvenir in the form of a jug.  It is fairly small, standing just 8 inches high and the one we have was from 1921 and has all the years from its long run starting in 1916 mentioned.  It also has the signatures of the writer and producer Oscar Asche and his actress wife, and co-producer, Lily Brayton stencilled on.  The Jug is the memory because in the show the bandits hide in huge Wine Jugs – a major moment in the show.

To read more about Chu Chin Chow go to Search and simply type Chu Chin Chow to see our article on the show.

RSB

Dilys Laye archive is gifted to Overtures for safe-keeping

The family of West End, Broadway and film star, Dilys Laye, have passed her archives to Overtures for safe-keeping and to be added to the National Collection. In line with Overtures strict policies, each collection is kept intact whilst being catalogued as part of an overall archive. There are many gems that will be made available for access, including early marked up scripts, photos and correspondence. We are taking this opportunity to show three photos from the collection at the time of The Boyfriend on Broadway.

THE ORIGINAL RECORDING SESSION OF “THE BOYFRIEND”

From 1950, Laye appeared in numerous West End revues, including And So to Bed, Intimacy at 8.30, For Amusement Only and High Spirits. In 1954, she played the first Dulcie in The Boy Friend on Broadway alongside Julie Andrews, with whom she shared a Manhattan flat during the run. At this time she was dating a young actor called James Garner.

In 1957, she began appearing in films and for almost 30 years was a stalwart in British productions. In 1985 in a major return to the stage she played Nurse in Romeo and Juliet with the Royal Shakespeare Company and her other credits with the RSC in the mid to late-1980s included Maria in Twelfth Night, First Witch in Macbeth, Glinda/Aunt Em in The Wizard of Oz and Parthy Ann in an Opera North version of Show Boat. In 2001 she returned to the RSC to play Mrs Medlock in its musical of The Secret Garden, directed by Adrian Noble. She toured the UK in The Phantom of the Opera and 42nd Street, among others. Her later West End credits included the musicals Nine in 1997 and Into the Woods in 1998 at the Donmar Warehouse and Mrs Pearce in Trevor Nunn’s revival of My Fair Lady at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane in 2002. She also starred in a revival of Christopher Hampton’s Les Liaisons Dangereuses at the Playhouse Theatre in 2003. The production was not admired but Laye’s performance (as Madame de Rosemond) was and she received the Clarence Derwent Award for Best Female in a Supporting Role. In 2005, she toured Britain as the Grandmother in Roald Dahl’s The Witches.

“New Theatre” – a magazine of the forties – and an unknown gem

“New Theatre” was an English publication that we believe was first published in June 1944 – though this was during war time and may have been more of a newsletter.  The copies we have acquired date from June 1946 and go to October 1947.    The interest is that it was a magazine we had not seen or even heard of before and after sixty years of collecting that is rather strange.

Now we have been able to study the magazines we find it was published by the left – the Trade Unions and the famous near communist Unity Theatre.  So presumably the readership was perhaps limited and it was never something that went into WH Smiths or their like.

But the magazines are of great interest with articles and photos very much of the period.  And we show some pages from them here.

What we would love to know is do you have any knowledge or back-ground on this magazine.  A simple Google brings no details.  It would be great to get the full story.

The growing archive and the death of Sir Roger Moore

The archive of Overtures (“The Bunnett Muir Musical Theatre Archive” to give it its full title) continues to grow with new recordings, books, posters and other memorabilia but it also actively collects items from the past and accepts other archives that could well have been lost.   Over time, the collection is moving to the Victoria and Albert Museum where it will be available for research.

While we have shown items from the archive to illustrate the articles we regularly publish on our web site we have not mentioned new additions and so they remain hidden in the archive.  We now plan to share such items because many have a rather interesting history or simply can bring back wonderful memories.

The death on 23 May of Roger Moore brought wonderful obituaries that tended to keep to his film and marital life and his own criticism on his acting ability.  But there is a musical theatre story too: 

A recent addition to our archive was the original poster for Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Aspects of Love.  The show opened on 17 April 1989 and was a big hit.  The poster (as you can see) gives Roger Moore star billing and indeed he was contracted to do the show.  Moore was not a stage star but as the second James Bond and the television Saint he was a true mega star.  There is no history of Moore singing in the past but it was assumed he would do a ‘Professor Higgins’ and that his renowned charm and charisma would win the day. 

He went into rehearsals playing the role of Sir George (a character sharing Moore’s charm and charisma) and all seemed to be going well.  But not for Moore, he became more and more concerned about his ability to sing and ability to hold the stage.  Eventually, two weeks before the planned opening and a few days before the escape clause in his contract was passed, he left the show.  The publicity was tremendous and Moore simply blamed himself – he basically got cold feet. 

The outcome was that the understudy, Kevin Colson, stepped up to the part and did it admirably with his own charm and charisma) but he did not get Moore’s billing.  Instead in was Ann Crumb and Michael Ball that took top billing.  And much of the ‘follow spot’ was then on Michael Ball and certainly helped bring him stardom.  

The archive also includes a poster and programme with the name of Judi Dench listed as the star of Cats, another ‘it did not happen’.

Prince Estate objecting to new Purple Rain tour

The estate of the late rock star Prince are currently “weighting their legal options” following the announcement of the tour of Purple Rain which is a new show based on his music due to open in Bromley next February.

Directed by Gary Lloyd (Thriller Live), a UK tour of the production Purple Rain was announced last week. Billed as “a celebration of Prince,” it will feature hits like Kiss, Purple Rain and Little Red Corvette. Producers called it a “new theatrical event celebrating the music of one of the world’s greatest pop artists”. However, in a statement to BBC News, Prince’s estate have labelled the show a “blatant attempt to deceive fans”.

Entertainment adviser Troy Carter said: “Neither Prince’s family or the estate have given permission to use his name, likeness, or music catalogue for this event.”He went on to say audiences will think they are seeing a Purple Rain musical in the West End, but would actually just be seeing a cover band playing Prince’s songs. Carter added that they “look forward to bringing the real Purple Rain to the stage in the near future”.

Legally, performances can include cover versions of songs as long as the rights holders receive the appropriate performance royalties.

In a statement, producers Adam Spiegel, Mark Goucher and Claire-Bridget Kenwright said that there is “There is no intention to deceive fans. The production will be a live music and dance celebration of an iconic artist’s work.”

The Broadway Musicals for the 2017-2018 Season

Classic musicals, bold new works and movie adaptations like ‘Frozen’ and ‘Mean Girls’ are among the anticipated debuts for the new 2017/18 season.

 

We take a look at the shows and stars of the season as the line-up takes shape.

 

PRINCE OF BROADWAY

Samuel J. Friedman Theatre

Theatre legend Harold Prince co-directs the new musical celebrating his six-decade career. Starring Michael Xavier (seen recently opposite Glenn Close in Sunset Boulevard), the revue features songs from many of the iconic shows that earned Prince a record 21 Tony Awards — including West Side Story, Fiddler on the Roof, Cabaret, Evita, Company, Follies, Sweeney Todd and The Phantom of the Opera — as well as biographical material. Jason Robert Brown contributes original songs and new orchestrations, while Susan Stroman co-directs and choreographs the Manhattan Theatre Club presentation.

Previews: Aug. 3 – Opening: Aug. 24

 

THE BAND’S VISIT

Ethel Barrymore Theatre

 The new musical jumps to Broadway after picking up a string of awards in its hit off-Broadway premiere, which starred Tony Shalhoub. With a score by David Yazbek and book by Itamar Moses, the show traces the beguiling cultural collision when an Egyptian police band, scheduled to play at the opening of an Arab cultural center in Israel, find themselves stranded overnight in an isolated desert town. David Cromer directs.

Previews: Oct. 7 – Opening: Nov. 9

 

ONCE ON THIS ISLAND

Circle in the Square Theatre

This popular 1990 musical by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty (the vehicle that first launched Tony winner LaChanze) centers on Ti Moune, a fearless peasant girl who falls in love with a wealthy boy from the other side of the island and embarks on a quest to reunite with him. A Tony nominee for Spring Awakening, Michael Arden directs the revival, choreographed to the Caribbean tunes by Camille A. Brown and set to star a newcomer to be discovered through an international casting call. Ragtime composers Ahrens and Flaherty also are represented on Broadway with the new musical, Anastasia.

Previews: Nov. 9 – Opening: Dec. 3

 

THE SPONGEBOB MUSICAL

Palace Theatre

Bikini Bottom hits Broadway in the new musical based on the popular Nickelodeon animated series. Directed by Tina Landau, the show features a book by Kyle Jarrow, and music supervision by Tom Kitt, plus original songs by Yolanda Adams, Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler and Joe Perry, Sara Bareilles, Alex Ebert of Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, The Flaming Lips, John Legend, Lady Antebellum, Cyndi Lauper, Panic! At the Disco, T.I., and David Bowie, among others.

Previews: Nov. 6 – Opening: Dec. 4

 

ESCAPE TO MARGARITAVILLE

Marquis Theater

The new Jimmy Buffett musical, featuring both original tracks and the singer’s classics, is set on a tropical island resort and and centers on a charming bartender-singer who falls for a beautiful, career-minded tourist. Greg Garcia and Mike O’Malley penned the book for the production which comes from a premiere run at La Jolla Playhouse, directed by Christopher Ashley and choreographed by Kelly Devine.

Previews: Feb. 16 – Opening: March 15

 

CAROUSEL

TBA

 Jessie Mueller, Joshua Henry and Renee Fleming star in this revival of the classic Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, directed by Jack O’Brien and choreographed by New York City Ballet resident Justin Peck. One of the most complex and darkest works in the R&H canon, the show centers on a New England mill worker who falls for and marries a hot-tempered carnival barker with stormy results.

Opening: March 23

 

MY FAIR LADY

Vivian Beaumont Theatre

 The classic Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe musical returns to Broadway after a 25-year absence, in a new staging directed by Bartlett Sher, who has specialized in finding fresh dramatic hues in such vintage shows as South Pacific and The King and I. Based on the George Bernard Shaw play Pygmalion, it centers on a cockney flower girl who is passed off as aristocracy as part of a bet between phonetics scholar Professor Henry Higgins and his chum Colonel Pickering. The beloved 1964 film adaptation starred Rex Harrison and Audrey Hepburn.

Previews: March 22 – Opening: April 19

 

MEAN GIRLS

TBA

Tina Fey pens the stage adaptation of her beloved 2004 big-screen comedy, which starred Lindsay Lohan as a new student who, though initially clueless about the social mores of the high school caste system, aims to take down the popular female clique. Casey Nicholaw directs the show, featuring music by Fey’s husband Jeff Richmond and lyrics by Nell Benjamin.

Opening: Spring 2018

 

FROZEN

St. James Theatre

The Oscar-winning 2013 animated hit becomes a full-fledged Disney musical, with music and lyrics by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez (expanded from their film score) and a book by Jennifer Lee, who wrote and co-directed the movie. Directed by Michael Grandage and choreographed by Rob Ashford, the show stars Caissie Levy as Elsa, whose uncontrollable icy powers trap their kingdom in eternal winter, and Patti Murin as Anna, who undertakes an epic journey to find her troubled sister and reverse the magic.

Opening: Spring 2018

‘Dear Evan Hansen’ wins 6 Tony Awards; Bette Midler is Best Leading Actress

“Dear Evan Hansen,” a daringly unflinching exploration of loss, lies and loneliness in a high school community, on Sunday won the 2017 Tony Award for best new musical, completing its journey from improbable idea to theatrical triumph.

 

The challenging and cathartic show, about an anxiety-racked adolescent whose social standing improves when he insinuates himself into the grieving family of a classmate who has killed himself, picked up six awards over the night, including a best leading actor Tony for the twitching-and-tender talk-of-the-town performance by 23-year-old Ben Platt in the title role. “To all young people watching at home, don’t waste any time trying to be like anybody but yourself, because the things that make you strange are the things that make you powerful,” Mr. Platt said while accepting his award.

The victory by “Dear Evan Hansen” capped a night when Broadway, which has been booming, spread its top honors across several plays and musicals, in contrast to last year, when “Hamilton” swept the board. The ceremony, at Radio City Music Hall, was hosted by Kevin Spacey, who generally stayed away from politics, instead choosing to make fun of his own status as a late-in-the-game and unexpected choice as host.

An overly nostalgic production of “Hello, Dolly!” won for best musical revival, and its adored star, Bette Midler, won as best leading actress in a musical — her first competitive Tony — 50 years after she stepped onto a Broadway stage in the original production of “Fiddler on the Roof.”

But the night belonged to “Dear Evan Hansen,” which has already made stars not only of Mr. Platt, who previously was best known for appearing in the “Pitch Perfect” films, but also of its young songwriters, Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, who are already at work on multiple Hollywood films, and book writer, Steven Levenson, who recently inked a development deal with 20th Century Fox Television.

 In an era when Broadway often means big, “Dear Evan Hansen” is intentionally, insistently intimate — the show has just eight roles and an eight-piece orchestra, and it is being staged in a cosy 984-seat theater. Directed by Michael Greif, “Dear Evan Hansen” is also wholly original — not based on a film, a book or a song catalog — and is one of the first shows on Broadway to integrate social media into its depiction of communication and community.

The musical, with Stacey Mindich as its lead producer, was also budgeted tightly — it cost just $9.5 million (is that all ???) to bring to Broadway, which is significantly less than most, and should speed its path to profitability.

Since beginning performances at the Music Box Theater last fall, the show has been doing well at the box office — it is grossing over $1.2 million a week, thanks in part to an average ticket price of $157, and it has succeeded in attracting a relatively youthful audience, which is a rarity on Broadway. A national tour is scheduled to begin in Denver in October 2018.

Rachel Bay Jones, who plays the title character’s worried single mother, took the Tony as best featured actress in a musical. Gavin Creel of “Hello, Dolly!” won best featured actor.

Other musicals came up short. “Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812,” the most nominated show of the season, won just two awards, for set and lighting design. “Come From Away,” the Canadian musical about the welcome Newfoundland extended to diverted air travelers after Sept. 11, 2001, won just one: for best direction, by Christopher Ashley. And “Groundhog Day,” an adaptation of the film, was shut out.

“Oslo”, a whip-smart and unexpectedly riveting drama illuminating the largely unknown back story behind the 1993 Middle East peace accords won the Tony Award for best new play in a very competitive year. The play, “Oslo,” was written by J. T. Rogers and presented by Lincoln Center Theater, a nonprofit. One of its performers, Michael Aronov, won the Tony Award for featured actor, for his role as a cocky Israeli negotiator.

“Oslo” defeated an aggressive competitor, “A Doll’s House, Part 2,” which campaigned vigorously for the attention of Tony voters, as well as two plays by Pulitzer Prize winners, “Sweat,” by Lynn Nottage (the play won her a second Pulitzer), and “Indecent,” by Paula Vogel.

 All four contenders were by American writers, and marked Broadway debuts for the authors, delighting champions of American playwriting.

 In one of the evening’s big surprises, Rebecca Taichman, who helped conceive of “Indecent” while she was a graduate student, won the Tony for best direction of a play. And, surprising no one, Laurie Metcalf, best known for her role in “Roseanne,” won her first Tony Award for her portrayal of a fiercely independent woman who had walked out on her family years earlier in “A Doll’s House, Part 2.”

 Kevin Kline picked up his third Tony Award, for his portrayal of a preening actor in a revival of Noël Coward’s “Present Laughter” and Cynthia Nixon, an alumna of “Sex and the City,” won her second Tony for her work in a revival of “The Little Foxes.”

 “Jitney,” by August Wilson, won best revival of a play. The drama, set in Pittsburgh in 1977, was the last of Wilson’s 10 American Century plays to be produced on Broadway; the widely heralded production, which closed in March, was presented by the nonprofit Manhattan Theater Club and directed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson, who fought long and hard to get it to Broadway.

The evening’s host, Kevin Spacey, was an unusual choice for an awards show — unlike many of his predecessors (James Corden, Neil Patrick Harris and Hugh Jackman), he is not known as a song-and-dance man. Rather, this two-time Oscar winner has been a riveting television presence portraying an underhanded president, Francis Underwood, in “House of Cards” on Netflix. But setting aside his dramatic persona to demonstrate his showbiz chops, he affectionately mocked the most-admired new musicals on Broadway as he opened the awards.

 Distancing himself from hosts of other awards shows in recent months, Mr. Spacey did not focus on national politics, but instead poked fun at his own status as an unlikely host. He adapted lyrics and set pieces from each of the four shows nominated as best musical. He wore a cast on his arm, much like the title character in “Dear Evan Hansen,” only to turn it into a knee brace, recognizing the injured lead actor in “Groundhog Day.” He cradled an accordion, as did Josh Groban in “The Great Comet,” and summoned a bizarre chorus line featuring the Rockettes and the cast of “Come From Away.”

None of the shows were particularly razzle-dazzle — in fact, he joked about the serious themes they explored — but that didn’t stop Mr. Spacey, who concluded with a tap dance number. He peppered the second half of the show with impressions of Johnny Carson and Bill Clinton, aiming one of the few political barbs of the night at that former president’s wife, Hillary Clinton.

The most political moment of the evening, however, belonged to Stephen Colbert, who mocked President Trump as he introduced the award for best musical revival. “It’s been a great year for revivals in general, especially that one they revived down in Washington, D.C.,” Mr. Colbert said. He added: “Huge production values, a couple problems: The main character is totally unbelievable, and the hair and makeup — yeesh. No, no. This D.C. production is supposed to have a four-year run, but reviews have not been kind. Could close early. We don’t know, we don’t know.”

The show was full of music: numbers from the four shows nominated for best new musical — “Come From Away,” “Dear Evan Hansen,” “Groundhog Day” and “The Great Comet” — as well as from the three nominated for best musical revival: “Falsettos,” “Hello, Dolly!” and “Miss Saigon.” Two other new musicals performed: “Bandstand” and “War Paint.”

Ms. Midler, among the best-known stars of the theatre season, did not sing; the producer of “Hello, Dolly!” opted instead to have her co-star David Hyde Pierce perform a song from the show. From the perspective of the show’s producers (led by Scott Rudin), there’s little reason to bend over backwards to get Midler on TV. “Dolly!,” which tends to come second only to “Hamilton” in the weekly Broadway grosses, hardly needs the help at the box office. Besides, keeping Midler’s performance off the telecast also serves to underscore the exclusivity of the event. Want to see Midler as Dolly? You gotta be in the room — and pay for a ticket to get there.

But she made up for it with a filibustering acceptance speech when she won the best musical actress award, insisting that the band stop playing as she thanked multiple collaborators and, in her inimitable fashion, exulted about her show and poked fun at her age and even her romantic life.

 “I’d like to thank all the Tony voters, many of whom I’ve actually dated,” she said.

Winners of Sondheim Sudent Performer and Stiles and Drewe Best New Song

Izuka Hoyle, who is currently starring in Working at Southwark Playhouse, has been crowned the Stephen Sondheim Society Student Performer of the Year.


At an event that took place at the Noel Coward Theatre on Sunday, Hoyle performed “Last Midnight” from Sondheim’s Into the Woods, and “The Matchmaker”, a new song by Claire McKenzie and Scott Gilmour. The panel of judges including director Rachel Kavanaugh and actors Alex Young and Janie Dee, picked Hoyle to win the £1000 from a shortlist of 12 performers. Shaq Taylor was named runner-up, with Oscar Conlon-Morrey in third place.

The event, which was hosted by Clive Rowe, also included the Stiles and Drewe Prize for Best New Song, awarded to to Tom Lees and Claire Rivers for “Gerry and Me”. Ben Glasstone won the MTI Stiles and Drewe Mentorship Award for his new musical Reanimator.

The writing duo, whose reworking of Half a Sixpence is currently playing in the West End, said: “There is no question that there is a wonderful new wave of writing talent, starting to crest in the UK. The diversity and strength of the writing featured in this afternoon’s gala bears testament to a very exciting future for British musical theatre.”

An all time record but now its the end of an era – The Fantasticks

The 4th June 2017 marked the end of an era for musical theatre with the final curtain falling on the musical The Fantasticks.

 

The musical, now in its 57th year, originally opened in 1960. At the time of its closing, the production will have played a total of 21,552 performances in New York, including 17,162 at the Sullivan Street Playhouse and a further 4,390 performances at the Jerry Orbach Theatre. It will be in the 2040s before Phantom can challenge for the title the world’s longest running musical.

 A modern twist on Romeo and Juliet, The Fantasticks, featuring music by Harvey Schmidt and book, lyrics, and direction by Tom Jones, is the quintessential story of a boy and girl who fall in love and then quickly grow apart when they realize they want to experience the world.

During its original run at the Sullivan Street Playhouse in Greenwich Village, The Fantasticks logged a record-breaking 17,162 performances. When the original production closed in 2002, news of the closing made the front page of The New York Times. In 2006, the revival opened at The Theater Center, directed by Jones.

The current cast includes Bradley Dean as El Gallo (The Narrator), Emily Behny as The Girl (Luisa), Nathan Goodrich as The Boy (Matt), Dan Sharkey as The Boy’s Father (Hucklebee), Dale Hensley as The Girl’s Father (Bellomy), MacIntyre Dixon as The Old Actor (Henry), Michael Nostrand as The Man Who Dies (Mortimer), and Aaron Wright as The Mute. The production also features Scott Willis, John Thomas Waite, and Samantha Bruce.

In March 2015, the little musical about a Boy, a Girl, and the wall that separates them had announced that it would play its final performance on May 3, 2015, the 55th anniversary of the opening of the show in 1960. However, producers Catherine Russell and Al Parinello announced April 25, 2015, that two anonymous fans of the show had stepped forward and offered financial resources to keep the show running.

“Over the past few weeks, two longtime fans of the show called yelling at me for not letting them know the show was closing,” Russell said in a statement at that time. “Each offered financial help to keep the show running in NYC. I initially declined the offers, but after much thought and consideration, I’ve decided to accept their generous offers that will help keep The Fantasticks alive. I was surprised and moved to see the enormous outpouring of emotion and attention the closing announcement received. People called the box office crying and telling stories about the first time they saw the show. I didn’t realize how many people love the show and feel like it’s an important part of their lives. The Fantasticks truly is a treasured and iconic piece of NYC that should live on.”

About the forthcoming closure, co-creator Tom Jones told Playbill, “We have a good company at the moment and a good stage manager and music director and I intend to be there personally to make sure that The Fantasticks that closes will be the same Fantasticks that opened all those many years ago.”

Robert Felstein is the musical director/pianist, and Marjorie Fitts is the harpist. The production stage manager is Paul Blankenship, and the assistant stage manager is Earlye Rhodes.