Northwestern to play host to the Fantasticks February 18

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Northwestern to play host to the Fantasticks February 18

Celebrating the fifth decade of performing, The Fantasticks is the world's longest running show still in its original theater, the world's longest running musical and the longest running show in American theater history. The Fantasticks will be at Northwestern Oklahoma State University’s Herod Hall Auditorium, with an all-new steampunk adaptation, Tuesday, Feb. 18 at 7:30 p.m.

With music by Harvey Schmidt and lyrics by Tom Jones, the 1960 musical tells a story of  two neighboring fathers who trick their children, Luisa and Matt, into falling in love by pretending to feud. The fathers hire traveling actors to stage a mock abduction, so that Matt can heroically seem to save Luisa, ending the supposed feud. When the children discover the deception, they reject the arranged love match and separate. Each then gains disillusioning experiences of the real world, seen in parallel fantasy sequences. They return to each other bruised but enlightened, and they renew their vows with more maturity.

Having premiered at the Sullivan Street Playhouse, a small off-Broadway theatre in New York City's Greenwich Village, on May 3, 1960, with names like Jerry Orbach, Rita Gardner, Kenneth Nelson, and Tom Jones, The Fantasticks still holds the original, ongoing, record-breaking run.

Having played in every state, in more than 11,103 U.S. productions in more than 2,000 cities and towns, The Fantasticks has played iconic venues including the White House, the Ford Theatre, the Shawnee Mission in Kansas, Yellowstone National Park and in America's more exotic locales from Carefree, Ariz., to Mouth of Wilson, Va. Internationally, more than 700 productions have been staged in 67 nations from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe.

In addition to an Obie Award and the 1992 Special Tony Award for The Fantasticks, Jones and Schmidt are the recipients of the prestigious ASCAP-Richard Rogers Award for 1993. On Feb. 1, 1999, they were inducted into the Theatre Hall of Fame at the Gershwin Theatre.

In 1995 The Fantasticks was taken from the stage to the big screen, in the movie The Fantasticks, directed by Michael Ritchie.      

Tickets to individual performances will be sold on an “as available” basis at $15 for adults and $10 for students. 

The reserved seating section at each concert will be held until five minutes prior to the performance.     

Contact Dr. Irene Messoloras, chair of the Department of Fine Arts, at (580) 327-8692 or irmessoloras@nwosu.edu, to purchase tickets or pick them up at Holder Drug, the NWOSU Bookstore, Graceful Arts Center or Rialto.            

The Northwest Oklahoma Concert Series is supported by the Alva Tourism and Convention Development Committee, the Oklahoma Arts Council, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Charles Morton Share Trust. The last concert this year will be on Tuesday, March 11, with FullSet.

-NW-