Tuesday, April 12, 2016

PREVIEW Here’s A Plum That’s Never Too Ripe—“Behind the Musical: The Fantasticks”

(The original cast of The Fantasticks.)

Try to remember a time when the show The Fantasticks wasn’t around, and you have to go back to before President Kennedy was elected. Weirdly, it almost closed quickly due to tepid reviews and poor ticket sales (the first nine weeks of the run lost $2000, a substantial sum back then). But once it got rolling it became a behemoth, racking up more than 20,000 off-Broadway performances through the years.

Its popularity has never waned due to the memorable songs and the charming story by Harvey Schmidt and Tom Jones—the University of Texas’ gift to musical theater. And soon, you’ll get an up-close look at this musical theater icon the best way possible: at a multimedia concert presented by The Musical Theater Project (TMTP). This is the sixth installment in their “Behind the Musical” series, and it promises to be just as informative and entertaining as all the others.

Co-hosted by TMTP’s artistic director Bill Rudman and associate artistic director/music director Nancy Maier, the two-day, two location show will feature songs from The Fantasticks along with the backstage anecdotes and trivia that only Rudman can provide. There will also be archival footage and interviews to enhance the event.

This concert will feature the singing voices of Shane Patrick O’Neill, Michelle Pauker and George Roth, with Fabio Polanco handling the stellar songs of El Gallo. And it will serve as a nice appetizer for the Great Lakes Theater’s full production of The Fantasticks opening May 13.

“Behind the Musical: The Fantasticks” will be performed Saturday, April 30 at 7 PM at the Stocker Arts Center at Lorain County Community College in Elyria and Sunday, May 1 at 3 PM at Regina Auditorium at Notre Dame College in South Euclid.

Stocker Arts Center is located at 1005 N. Abbe Road in Elyria on the campus of Lorain County Community College. Adult tickets are priced at $15.  Student (age 18 and under) tickets are priced at $10. Tickets are available through the Stocker Arts Center Box Office at 440-366-4040 or www.StockerArtsCenter.com.

Notre Dame College is located at 4545 College Road in South Euclid. General tickets are priced at $25. TMTP Member tickets are priced at $20. Tickets are available through TMTP’s Box Office at 216-245-8687 or www.MusicalTheaterProject.org.

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