Fantasticks Film Documentary to Be Released in March

News   Fantasticks Film Documentary to Be Released in March
 
A film documentary of the final performance of Off-Broadway's legendary long-running musical, The Fantasticks, will be released in theatres in early March 2004 by the New York-based outfit Zeitgeist Films.

The movie, titled "Try to Remember: The Fantasticks," was made by James A. Ruggiero's Still Moving Pictures, which gained access to the show just 48 hours before the Off-Broadway phenomenon was to close forever, on Jan. 13, 2002.

The premiere is tentaively set for March 3 at the Walter Reade Theatre at Lincoln Center.

The movie runs roughly one hour. Aside from providing a living account of the musical's final bows and curtain speeches, Ruggiero conducted interviews with composers Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidit; cast alumni Jerry Orbach, Rita Gardner and F. Murray Abraham; and talk show host Joe Franklin and former New York City Council leader Peter Vallone, both of whom were at the ultimate performance.

In an earlier interview with Playbill On-Line, Ruggiero emphasized the exclusive nature of the flick. "The play's producer Tony Noto approached us that last Friday evening to see if we'd be interested in filming it," he related. "Needless to say, we jumped at the unique one time-only opportunity. We did all the deals with the cast and production people and the writers Saturday morning and began to shoot the saturday matinee."

The Fantaticks ran at Greenwhich Village's Sullivan Playhouse for 42 years, making it the world's longest running musical.

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