The Amazing Story of the Fantasticks: America's Longest-Running Play

Robert Viagas, Author, Donald C. Farber, With Carol Publishing Corporation $19.95 (240p) ISBN 978-0-8065-1214-3
The Fantasticks is the quintessential off-Broadway production, operating with a low budget, sparse sets and small cast. Viagas, theater critic for the New Haven (Conn.) Register , and Farber, Fantasticks legal adviser, explore the show's history but provide no insight into its phenomenal success. They tell us of its thematic roots in an 1865 play by Edmund Rostand and of its 1960 opening at Manhattan's Sullivan Theater as a Tom Jones/Harvey Schmidt musical. Jones, Schmidt and others developed the songs and characters more fully during the following 10 years, and The Fantasticks came to delight audiences worldwide. The play, which became a springboard for many careers, including those of Amadeus Oscar-winner F. Murray Abraham and Broadway star Jerry Orbach, is now in the fourth decade of its run. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/29/1991
Release date: 05/01/1991
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