CMU School of Drama

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Hit musical The Fantasticks makes its Pittsburgh Public Theater debut

NEXTpittsburgh: The iconic musical that premiered Off-Broadway in 1960 and ran continuously for a staggering 42 years is now making its Pittsburgh Public Theater debut.

Kicking off The Public’s 42nd season with a rousing new production, The Fantasticks runs from September 29 through October 30 at downtown’s O’Reilly Theater.


Zak Biggins said...

I need to see this! I love the fanstasticks! The show's simplicity is so intriguing that it has attracted audience members for almost 50 years off-broadway. The fantasticks, in my opinion, needs to be presented in an intimate space. The show requires whole-hearted engagement from audiences depending on the scale. My favorite character is the mute: (male or female) character that serves as a stage hand to the cast. When Bellomey and Huckleebee (the two fathers) request a wall, the mute "constructs" one by placing his/her arm out and acts as the wall for the remainder of the act. Many classics that are being produced are being "reinvented", however, this is an exception. A Chorus line is done only ONE (no pun intended) way with the orignial choreography and staging, The fantastick should be the same way in my opinion. I am so looking forward to see this production!

Jason Cohen said...

The Pittsburgh Public Theater is a great local company that is producing incredible work. Most of the productions that they do are what we would consider to be a “straight play” recently they have started adding one musical into their season. This season Fantasticks is one of two musicals in their season. First off, I think it is great that they are starting to do more smaller scale musicals because they capture the incredible storytelling techniques that their plays do. This brings me to my second point that I think that this is the perfect musical for this company. It is not a big flashy musical, but not a small little one. I say this because sometimes I feel a single show takes over a company and becomes everyone’s focal point. This show is on par with all of the other ones in the season, and doesn’t draw too much attention to being one of two musicals. I’m excited to see a performance.

Katherine Sharpless said...

I had the Pittsburgh Public Theatre for my Susan project and am so excited to see my first show there! I don't know a lot about The Fantasticks, but based on the previous comments and some of the article it seems romantic and personable, and would do well in a small space. While The Public can seat a lot of guests, their 3/4 thrust stage still creates an intimate environment that would fit a romance nicely. Also, I've read that the theatre tends to produce more classical, recognizable shows in the beginning of their season then work on more contemporary works in the Spring. This musical is perfect for the PPT, because it is "a hit", based on classical stories, and new to Pittsburgh. The wording of the article is a little misleading, so just to clarify, Artistic Director Ted Pappas has directed shows at the PPT before stepping into his new role.

Evan Schild said...

I was so lucky enough to see this show off broadway. The theater was intimate and maybe 200 people could fit into it. I felt like I was apart of this show. I would love to see it in Pittsburgh. During Susans first design project I was lucky enough to visit the inside of theater with some other DP's. The theater is huge. I would love to see the differences in the change of venue. I wonder if the message of the show will change for me since it will not be as intimate. Also I would love to see how this piece is directed. Off broadway the set was simplistic and the pit was apart of the show. I want to see how this director interprets the show in a different way!

Alex Kaplan said...

I am so excited! The Fantasticks is one of my all time favorite shows. I saw it off broadway probably about four years ago now, and I was completely captivated by it. The pure simplicity of the plot, set, and costumes made the show all the stronger. One thing that was especially nice about the off broadway performance was that the theater space it was performed in was very small and intimate, seating probably about 50 people. It added to the show and it’s simplicity by getting rid of the need for microphones as well as engaging the audience into the story. At some points, when El Gallo made a sharp turn, his cloak would flutter out over the audience. I hope that the new setting does not get rid of this intimate nature to the show. I hope I will be able to find time to see the show and find out!

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