Community Theatre

Champaign-Urbana, Illinois

Bah Humbug Productions

The Fantasticks

Summer 2015

Created by Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt, The Fantasticks is a funny and romantic musical about a boy, a girl, and their two fathers who try to keep them apart. The narrator, El Gallo, asks the audience to use their imagination and follow him into a world of moonlight and magic. The boy and the girl fall in love, grow apart, and finally find their way back to each other after realizing the truth in El Gallo's words, that "without a hurt, the heart is hollow."


The Fantasticks is loosely based off Les Romanesques by French dramatist Edmond Rostand, more famously known as the playwright of Cyrano de Bergerac. The plot draws from several romantic stories, including the story of Pyramus and Thisbe from Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. Schmidt and Jones initially tried to make the story about two ranches, one Anglo and one Spanish, but were forced to throw everything away after facing an early deadline. Elements of the original production drew from various sources. The role of El Gallo as omniscient narrator came from the use of an "invisible" Property Man in the Chinese Theatre. The choice to use the actors in a commedia dell'arte style came from a City Center production of Goldoni's A Servant of Two Masters. Jones was also greatly inspired by Shakespeare's poetry and tried to use his notions of verse, ending couplets, and a unifying image.

The Fantasticks was originally written as a one act play that premiered at Barnard College for one week in August of 1959. Once reworked, it then moved to New York and opened on May 3, 1960 at the Sullivan Street Playhouse in Greenwich Village. The original cast included Jerry Orbach, Rita Gardner, Kenneth Nelson, and librettist Tom Jones under a pseudonym. The show's original production ran until January 13, 2002, having performed an astounding 42 years and over 17,000 performances. Due to popular demand, an Off-Broadway revival of The Fantasticks opened in August 2006 at the Jerry Orbach Theatre in the Snapple Theater Center in New York City where it continues to run. The musical celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2010.



The Narrator (El Gallo): Jim Mayer

The Girl (Luisa): Riley Hill-Kartel

The Boy  (Matt): Max Kaegle

The Boy's Father (Hucklebee): Jim Dieker

The Girl's Father (Bellomy): Phil Meadows

The Old Actor (Henry): James Dobbs

The Man Who Dies  (Mortimer): Craig Smith

The Mute: Nick Lannan

Understudy: Anika Vogen

Pianist/Show Conductor: Felix Chan

Harpist: TBA


Production Staff

Director: Nick Schneider

Producer: Angela Schneider

Assistant Producer: Anika Vogen

Music Director: Aaron Kaplan

Choreographer: S. Alicia Cross Engelhardt

Flight Coordinator: Timuchin Aker

Stage Manager: Stacy Walker

Production Design: Molly Ilter

Lighting Design: Sarah Aker

Costume Design: Sheri Doyle

Properties: Matt Doyle


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