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August 18, 2011 | 9:06 a.m. CST
Families collide Romeo-and-Juliet style, or so it appears, in Arrow Rock Lyceum Theatre’s production of The Fantasticks, which will kick off Saturday.
Written by Tom Jones with music by Harvey Schmidt, The Fantasticks tells the story of a young man and woman whose parents plot to make them fall in love. The fathers build a wall to separate the pair, a move that’s actually intended to push them together. It works, and the two are smitten. Eventually, the lovers realize they’ve been fooled and part ways, ashamed, only to realize they can’t live apart.
Where: Arrow Rock Lyceum Theatre
When: 2 and 8 p.m., Aug. 20-28
According to the theater’s artistic director, Quin Gresham, the production will stick closely to the original script and music. It’s not a bad idea given the play’s success in theaters throughout the world. In fact, a 42-year stint at New York’s Sullivan Street Playhouse gave The Fantasticks the distinction of the longest-running musical in history.
The Lyceum’s production of The Fantasticks will differ from many musicals in its utilization of cast member Garrett Zuercher. He is deaf and will play abstract roles, including the rain, the snow and the wall of sticks, which divides the two lovers. “He moves the story along but never speaks,” Gresham says.
Because of Arrow Rock’s choice to preserve the show’s integrity, Gresham says audiences will leave with a deeper understanding of spontaneous love.