The Fantasticks

Music: Harvey Schmidt

Lyrics & Book: Tom Jones

The Fantasticks, freely adapted from Edmond Rostand's 1894 play Les Romanesques, tells an age-old tale. Its ingredients are simple: a boy, a girl, two fathers, and a wall. Its stage is a wooden platform, its scenery a tattered cardboard moon. Using only these bare essentials, the author and composer have managed to bring to life a funny and quite touching story of innocence--and of knowledge.

Originally staged at Barnard College in the summer of 1959 as a one-act musical, The Fantasticks was then rewritten at the urging of producer Lore Noto and received its official premiere at the Sullivan Street Playhouse on May 3, 1960. Since that time, it has become the longest-running musical in the world. By its 33rd year at the 150-seat Greenwich Village Theatre, there had been over 10,000 productions throughout the world. It has played in over 5000 American cities and 80 foreign countries.

Harvey Schmidt and Tom Jones first began collaborating while students at the University of Texas. The Fantasticks--Originally titled Joy Comes to Dead Horse--was their first full-length musical written after graduation. Other Schmidt/Jones collaborations include 110 In The Shade, I Do, I Do, and the original ritual musical Celebration.

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