Pop singer Aaron Carter, who joined the Off-Broadway cast of The Fantasticks as Matt in November 2011, will depart the long-running musical in February to begin a concert tour. He is expected to return to the Tom Jones-Harvey Schmidt musical.
Producers announced that Carter's final performance will be Feb. 17. He has extended his contract with the production four times. Producers are billing his departure as an extended leave of absence, with the intent that Carter will return to the production following the conclusion of his open-ended tour.
"I'm looking forward to going on tour and working on my music, but The Fantasticks is my home – I will be back. Now you all have five weeks to come see me as Matt before I go!," Carter said in a statement.
The Fantasticks is the world's longest-running musical, having played a record-breaking run of more than 17,000 performances in Greenwich Village. Harvey Schmidt wrote the music, and Tom Jones penned the book and lyrics.
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.
Book writer and lyricist Jones staged the revival of The Fantasticks, which has choreography by Janet Watson.
The Fantasticks resumed performances Off-Broadway at the Snapple Theater Center's Jerry Orbach Theater June 16, 2008. The Fantasticks is produced by Terzetto, LLC/Catherine Russell and by Pat Flicker Addis and Al Parinello.