For over 40 years a musical called "The Fantasticks" played at the Sullivan Street Theater in Greenwich Village, New York. When this amazing run was called to a halt in order to renovate the old theater, masses of theater-goers from all over the United States protested. It continued to run for four more years and finally succumbed to the clamor of money and real estate, closing only two years ago.

I saw this musical over 15 times, every time I visited New York, and each time felt I was witnessing one of those rare moments when the perfect lyrics meets the perfect music and strides unabashed and happily through the perfect play.

Imagine my joy to find that The Fantasticks will open in Stillwater at the Town and Gown Theatre on June 14th, and I urge you not to miss this wonderful musical that has become a valuable part of Americana. If you do, you will have missed the true delight of summer and joy and the feeling of youth and innocence that will swim in your head long after you leave the theatre humming "Soon It's Gonna Rain!"

Written by two University of Texas graduate school students, Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt, it was first presented in 1960. Inspiration for the musical came from Les Romanesques written by Edmund Rostand in 1892 when he was only 24 years old. Clearly, one had to still feel the power of youth in your heart to open that heart so completely to a cynical world! A woman (age unknown by me and writing under the pseudonym "George Fleming") added the name "The Fantasticks" in a 1900 London presentation

The Stillwater presentation is directed by Sondra Williams with Gayla Foster as musical director. If you haven't availed yourself of our local Town and Gown

productions, you'll be amazed at how professionally executed these all volunteer productions have remained through the years.

The lyrics are exciting and poetic, the music charming and so smoothly written it tempts you to step out of the audience in this theatre-in-the-round and join in the melodic

stroll through life with the two young lovers . This play is funny and endearing and is for everyone.

The play runs June 14 -18th, June 21-25th, evenings at 7 p.m. and Sunday matinee time is 2:30 p.m. Call 372-9122 for reservations.

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