"50 Years of The Fantasticks" will air at 12:30 AM July 30 on PBS and subsequently on CUNY TV July 31 (8:30 PM), Aug. 1 (12:30 PM) and Aug. 2 (7:30 AM, 1:30 PM and 7:30 PM).
Theatre reporter Michael Riedel and Susan Haskins co-host the special that features interviews with Fantasticks co-creator Tom Jones (book and lyrics), as well as original star Rita Gardner. Jones has also appeared in the musical as Henry, The Old Actor, throughout his career. The musical celebrated its 50th anniversary Off-Broadway in May.
The special will include performances by recent Fantasticks Off-Broadway cast members Erik Altemus, Edward Watts and Kimberly Whalen. Robert Felstein is accompanist.
The Fantasticks is the world's longest-running musical, having played a record-breaking run of more than 17,000 performances in Greenwich Village. The Fantasticks originally opened at the Sullivan Street Playhouse in May 1960 and closed Jan. 13, 2002. Word Baker directed the original Off-Broadway company.
The Off-Broadway revival began performances at the Snapple Theater Center's Jerry Orbach Theater Aug. 16, 2006, where it continues to run. Visit FantasticksOnStage.