The long-running Off-Broadway musical The Fantasticks will reach a record-breaking 21,000 performances Feb. 8, having played in New York City for 56 years. The total number is cumulative from the original production, as well as the revival.
The musical comedy – a modern twist on Romeo and Juliet with music by Harvey Schmidt, book, lyrics, and direction by Tom Jones – first opened Off-Broadway in 1960, with an engagement that ran through 2002 at the Sullivan Street Playhouse. It re-opened in August 2006 and continues to play an open-ended run at the Snapple Theater Center/ The Jerry Orbach Theater in Times Square.
The show, which is the longest-running musical in world history and the longest-running play of any kind in American history, announced a closing in March 2015. A month later, producers Catherine Russell and Al Parinello announced that two anonymous fans of the show had stepped forward and offered financial resources to keep the show running.
The Fantasticks (2006) Production Photos
The current cast of The Fantasticks includes Michael Halling as the Narrator (El Gallo), Daniel Berryman as The Boy (Matt), Samantha Bruce as The Girl (Luisa), William Thomas Evans as The Boy’s Father (Hucklebee), Dale Hensley as The Girl's Father (Bellomy), MacIntyre Dixon as The Old Actor (Henry), Michael Nostrand as The Man Who Dies (Mortimer) and Drew Seigla as The Mute. The production also features Tom Flagg, Rita Markova and Dave Schoonover.
Robert Felstein is the musical director/pianist and Maria Banks is the harpist. Production stage manager is Paul Blankenship and the assistant stage manager is John Thomas Waite.
The Fantasticks is "the quintessential story of a boy and girl who fall in love and then quickly grow apart when they realize they want to experience the world," state press notes. "What follows is a hilarious and heartwarming story appropriate for all ages."
For more information and to purchase tickets to the Off-Broadway production, visit Fantasticksonbroadway.com.