The American Society of Composers Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) will fete composer Harvey Schmidt and lyricist-librettist Tom Jones, the authors of the world's longest-running musical, The Fantasticks on the occasion of the show's 40th anniversary performance.
Schmidt and Jones will be honored on stage, at about 10 PM on May 3 immediately after the show's 16,562nd performance. That show will mark the completion of the show's 40th continuous year in production. The show has been running so long that when it opened, Dwight D. Eisenhower was the President of the United States.
The Fantasticks still plays at the Sullivan Street Playhouse, located at 181 Sullivan Street in Manhattan, the same location where the first performance of The Fantasticks took place on May 3, 1960. That first show included Jerry Orbach and Rita Gardner in the cast. Subsequent casts featured Liza Minnelli, Elliot Gould, Glenn Close, F. Murray Abraham, Richard Chamberlain and John Carradine.
Harvey Schmidt and Tom Jones wrote the memorable songs "Try to Remember" and "Soon It's Gonna Rain?" from the show. The team also wrote the score for the Broadway shows, I Do, I Do and 110 in the Shade.
-- By Murdoch McBride