Lewis Cleale, who was most recently seen on Broadway as Sir Galahad in Monty Python's Spamalot, will step into the role created in the original Off-Broadway production by the late Jerry Orbach. In the current staging, Cleale will succeed Dennis Parlato, who will play his final performance Sept. 14.
Cleale will join a cast that currently features Nick Spangler, Margaret Anne Florence, Tom Flagg, Gene Jones, Jordan Nichols, Michael Nostrand, Evy Ortiz, Steve Routman, John Thomas Waite and Scott Willis.
In addition to Spamalot, Lewis Cleale has also been seen on Broadway in Amour, Once Upon a Mattress, Swinging on a Star (Drama Desk nomination) and the City Center Encores! staging of Call Me Madam. Off-Broadway he was seen in Time and Again, A New Brain and Big City Rhythm. His national tour credits include Sunset Boulevard and South Pacific. Cleale's regional credits include productions of Passion (Helen Hayes Award) and 1776 (Helen Hayes nomination).
The Fantasticks features direction by creator Tom Jones, with choreography by Janet Watson and musical direction by Robert Felstein.
The musical resumed performances Off-Broadway at the Snapple Theater Center's Jerry Orbach Theater June 16. The Fantasticks began a winter hiatus Feb. 24, following 27 previews and 628 regular performances at the Orbach Theater. The Fantasticks, according to press notes, "is a captivating and simple love story about a boy, a girl, two fathers and a wall. The audience uses its imagination to follow El Gallo as he creates a world of moonlight and magic, and then pain and disillusionment, until the boy and girl find their way back to one other." Songs from the popular musical include "Try to Remember," "They Were You," "Much More," "Soon It's Gonna Rain" and "I Can See It."
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. The original company included Wedding Singer star Rita Gardner and the late Jerry Orbach. Harvey Schmidt wrote the music, and Tom Jones penned the book and lyrics. Word Baker directed the original Off-Broadway company.
Tickets can be purchased by visiting Ticketmaster.com or by calling (212) 307-4100. The Snapple Theater Center is located at 210 West 50th Street at Broadway.