The Fantasticks, freely adapted from Edmond Rostand's
1894 play Les Romanesques, tells an age-old tale. Its
ingredients are simple: a boy, a girl, two fathers, and a wall.
Its stage is a wooden platform, its scenery a tattered cardboard
moon. Using only these bare essentials, the author and composer
have managed to bring to life a funny and quite touching story
of innocence--and of knowledge.
Originally staged at Barnard College in the summer of 1959
as a one-act musical, The Fantasticks was then rewritten
at the urging of producer Lore Noto and received its official
premiere at the Sullivan Street Playhouse on May 3, 1960. Since
that time, it has become the longest-running musical in the world.
By its 33rd year at the 150-seat Greenwich Village Theatre, there
had been over 10,000 productions throughout the world. It has
played in over 5000 American cities and 80 foreign countries.
Harvey Schmidt and Tom Jones first began collaborating while
students at the University of Texas. The Fantasticks--Originally
titled Joy Comes to Dead Horse--was their first full-length
musical written after graduation. Other Schmidt/Jones collaborations
include 110 In The Shade, I Do, I Do, and the original
ritual musical Celebration.
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