“The Fantasticks” opened off-Broadway in 1960 and played for 42 straight years, yet it’s not a show that people might know, like say “Le Miserable”, “Phantom”, “Jesus Christ, Superstar” or “Hamilton”.  For a musical, it’s a smaller production, with barely more than a half-dozen cast members.

“The Fantasticks” is loosely based on an 1894 play The Romancers, concerning two neighboring fathers who trick their children, Luisa and Matt, into falling in love by pretending to feud.    With its most memorable song, “Try to Remember,” this funny and moving classic is fantastic for a breezy summer night!  And Tibbits will be staging it in a summer setting.  All shows will be outside, but under cover, at The Ponds, a great outdoor venue just a short distance from the historic Tibbits Opera House.

The Ponds of Coldwater-Tibbits.org
The Ponds of Coldwater-Tibbits.org

Chad Tallon, a veteran of the Tibbits stage, plays Bellomy, the girl’s father.  Tallon, a professional actor, also teaches drama at Thomas Metcalf School in Bloomington, Illinois.

“These two fathers, who are good friends, decide to scheme to try and make something happen between their kids."  He said the men figure that if their parents don’t want them to get together, they’ll do just that.  Tallon says "The Fantasticks"  reminds him of another musical, “Into the Woods”, because at the end of Act 1, everything seems like it’s going just fine, but then things take a major turn in Act 2.  “Anytime you try to control fate, it doesn’t always go the way you intended. Sometimes you have to work and learn from your mistakes and your choices to get the successes that you want in life. It's very, very unique. I was intrigued by it the first time I watched it, and I think the audience will be intrigued too.”

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The show's original off-Broadway production went up in 1960, with Jerry Orbach (Lenny from Law and Order) in one of the main roles.   Many other big names have also been in the cast, including Liza Minnelli, Elliott Gould, F. Murray Abraham, Glenn Close, Kristin Chenoweth, Joel Gray, Bert Convy, and Eileen Fulton.

Tibbits's production of “The Fantasticks” will include Max Gonzalez as El Gallo and Brooke Jackson as Luisa. They will be joined onstage by other veteran Tibbits actors Tallon, Liz Davis, Michael Motkowski, Matt Scott, and newcomer Nile Birch. The production will be directed by Tibbits Artistic Director Peter Riopelle.

Tickets for “The Fantasticks” are $28 (including fees) for all seats, with discounts available to Tibbits members. Performances will run June 30, July 2, 6, 8, and 9 at 7:30 pm and July 1 and 7 at 2 pm. Tickets are available online at www.Tibbits.org or the Tibbits admin office at 93 W. Chicago Street in Coldwater from 9 am to 5 pm on weekdays.  Or you can call 517-278-6029.

All performances are scheduled to be performed at The Ponds located at 368 S. Jefferson, just minutes from the theatre.


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