According to the New York Post, it is "Still the Best
After all these Years!" Enticing audiences across the world and running for over 52 years, The Fantasticks is a lighthearted romantic musical about a young boy, a young girl and their fathers applying reverse psychology on them. The themes of young love and parental consideration for childrens future are so strong that audiences of all ages can comfortably relate to it. At the same time the twists and turns in the story make it a new experience for even the regular theatre folks. The Fantasticks tickets are an irresistible attraction for young and old alike.
The musical has reflections of some of the exceptional works of art, including Shakespeares Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Nights Dream, Lelisir damore and also certain elements from the story of Pyramus and Thisble. However, despite these influences, The Fantasticks is very much an original concept with its own creativity and depth. It is very hard to explain the exquisiteness of the play in mere words; one needs to see the performance live to appreciate its real beauty.
The musical has been adapted and performed on several informal platforms as well. Regional, community, and high school productions are among the most common ones, and approximately 250 new productions are made each year. The Fantasticks has been performed in almost seventy foreign countries and has also held super hit shows all across the United States.
The play revolves around two neighboring fathers, one of a son and the other of a daughter. Together, they devise a plan in order to make their children fall in love with each other. Their strategy, though deceiving in its nature, is certain to grasp audiences into its inherent sincerity and loveliness.
The protagonists whose names are Luisa and Matt initially do fall for the trick and as a result in love. But when they figure out that they have been tricked, they reject the arranged love match and go on their separate ways. Each of them then has to face the crude realities of the world, which are shown in parallel fantasy sequence in the play. Appropriate music and lyrics magnify the effect of the story and gasps and sighs can be heard from the audience. Finally they realize their mistake and return to each other, hurt by the outside world but devoted and enlightened within. Their reunion comes as much a relief for the spectators as for the characters themselves.
The Fantastic Timeline
In 1960 when the musical premiered at Sullivan Street, hardly anyone could imagine that this would still be the most beloved show half a century later. Even Tom Jones, the book writer and lyricist of the musical, himself was not sure that this would turn out to be such grand success. With an exuberant charm of simplicity and without any added glitz of special effects and overrated spectacles, The Fantasticks captured peoples attention and made them fall in love with the performance.
The original Off-Broadway production continued till 2002 and closed after 17,162 successful performances. Four years later, by popular demand the musical resurfaced once again with the same story but fresh faces. By the time the play returned, the world outside had gone several changes, but inside the theatres everything was still the same. Mixing the feelings of nostalgia with its inherent beauty the show once again took the audiences by storm and made records of success. Even till today it continues to be the one of the most favorite plays for the young and the old alike. Small wonder than it is that The Fantasticks tickets are still quite popular with the 18 to 60 demographic.