Stillwater’s own Town and Gown is notorious with residents for fine productions. Opening night of “The Fantasticks” was certainly no less than brilliant.

Putting on this particular Broadway musical has been in hearts of director Sandra Williams and music director Dr. Gayla Foster for many years and their collaboration is nothing short of fantastic.

This musical, with its small cast of seven, is entertaining, lively and at times, downright hilarious. When Valerie Kisling, playing The Boy’s Mother Hucklebee, and John Thomas, playing The Girl’s Father Bellomy, sing “Never Say No,” a song about the danger to telling your child no, their humorous dancing and great voices make this duet a highlight of the night.

This production has something for every age. Young, naive lovers played by Shannon DeYoung and Philip Boone get a taste of the real world. El Gallo, played by Jared Cranke, is the suave ransomer and story narrator. He is hired by the scheming parents to stage an elaborate kidnapping of Luisa, whose head is perpetually in the clouds, to help the kids fall in love.

The scenes of swordplay and death are so overdone it is impossible not to laugh out loud.

Two actors, (Jan Carlson and Paul Armstrong), emerge from the stage prop trunk dressed as an Indian warrior and a Shakespearean dramatist. As they aid El Gallo in the staged kidnapping, their shenanigans, outrageous British accents and hilarious death scenes steal the show.

This local cast dances, sings, fights and dies with a fantastic amount of talent and humor that makes this production well-worth seeing.

“The Fantasticks” will continue its run at Town and Gown June 21-25; it is definitely worth seeing.

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