BOILING SPRINGS >> Opening in September at Allenberry Playhouse is a show interpretation "unlike any you have ever seen," although the show is one of the most seen performances of all time, promises Allenberry's artistic director, Ryan Gibbs.
Allenberry's production of the world's longest-running musical, "The Fantasticks," will be staged Sept. 2 through Oct. 4, with an official opening at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 3.
"Once in a while a show comes under your nose that is completely driven by the charm of a journey," said Gibbs. "We are retelling the story in a bright way that will showcase all of the charm that has made the show stay in our hearts for over 50 years. Many other musicals show us what it's like to fall in love, only "The Fantasticks" makes us remember how to fall in love."
The story is a captivating romantic comedy about a boy, a girl, two fathers, and a wall. Based on the tale "Les Romanesques," by Edmond Rostand, the musical features music by Harvey Schmidt and book and lyrics by Tom Jones. The score includes "Soon It's Gonna Rain," "They Were You," and the beloved hit, "Try to Remember."
Richard Easley, Allenberry's long time character man from 1978 to 2005, is returning for the show after a 10-year absence. Allenberry fans will remember him from such hits as Pickering in "My Fair Lady," The Modern Major General in "The Pirates of Penzance" and "No, No, Nanette."
By working with The Broadway Green Initiative, the set for the show will be a fully sustainable produced set, using a variety of recycled and sustainable material sourced locally, said Gibbs. Allenberry has begun to consider its building practices and waste management in the scene shop.
"We're hoping audiences will be inspired to use their imagination; for example, for the shop we're using plastic bottles to create a garden of flowers, a life size tree made entirely from recycled plastics along with everyday objects to create interesting textures and environment on stage," Gibbs said.
"The Fantasticks" opened Off-Broadway at the Sullivan Street Playhouse on May 3, 1960. After 42 years, the production closed on January 13, 2002, having fulfilled 17,162 performances. In 1992, it was awarded Tony Honors for Excellence in Theatre. In 2007, the musical was revived in New York at the Jerry Orbach Theater and is still playing, with now more than 20,000 performances.
If you go
WHAT: "The Fantasticks"
WHEN: Tuesdays through Sundays, Sept. 2-Oct. 4.
WHERE: Allenberry Playhouse, 1599 Boiling Springs Road, Boiling Springs
COST: $38, with discounts for students and children; dinner theater costs $59 for matinees, $63 evenings.
TICKETS, SHOW TIMES: Call 1-800-430-5468.