Special to Reflector-Chronicle
First presented in New York City in 1960, “The Fantasticks” by Tom Schmidt and Harvey Jones is considered to be the longest running musical in American history, and is presently still running in NYC.
The Fantasticks tells the love story of two neighbors, Luisa and Matt, and their fathers Bellomy and Hucklebee. The fathers set up an elaborate hoax to ensure their children fall in love, even going as far as hiring traveling actors to stage a mock abduction. Matt gallantly saves Luisa, but when they discover they’ve been fooled, they reject the arranged marriage and set out to discover the real world independently. In the end, the young pair ultimately return to each other with a new sense of wisdom and maturity.
Elise Poehling (Manhattan, Kan.) plays Luisa, Ben Darragh (Plano, Texas) plays Matt, with T.J. Lancaster (Kansas City, Mo.) and Mark Fishback (Indianapolis, In.) playing their fathers.
The production also features Kim Riley, Alex Zolnerowich, and Kyle Myers, from Manhattan, Kansas City, actor Vigthor Zophoniasson, originally from Iceland, plays the narrator and dashing bandit, El Gallo, and performs one of the shows most well known songs, “Try to Remember.”
The show is guest directed by David Ollington, an associate professer in the School of Theatre, Music, and Dance at Kansas State University. Joe Markley (Chapman) returns as music director and to accompany the show, and Catherine Hammer (Leavenworth) also returns to GPT as the second accompanist.
The production opens August 16th and runs through Aug. 25th.
The 2013 season continues with Steel Magnolias (Sept. 13-22), Clue: The Musical (Oct. 11-20), Tuna Does Vegas (Nov. 8-17), and Nuncrackers (Dec. 6-22).