My first NY musical. My favorite musical. The perfect musical.
The Fantasticks, based on a 1894 play written by Edmond Rostand, has been running since 1960 and just celebrated it’s 50th anniversary as the longest running musical in 2010.
Borrowing from classic Shakespearean plays, the musical tells of young lovers and their struggle to find themselves to find each other. But the essence of The Fantasticks goes much further with deepened metaphors and abstract scenes, creating a stark contrast between the light, operatic songs and the gritty and dense messages within. In the end, you are left feeling a rich mix of despair and hope, best described by El Gallo’s departing words, “without a hurt, the heart is hollow”.
The Fantasticks is a musical that, if you let your mind open, has the ability to move and fill anybody with any particular experiences. As the play suggests, the best way to experience this perfect musical is to “…try to see it. not with your eyes, for they are wise, but see it with your ears… And hear it with the inside of your hand: the soundless sound of shadows flicking light. Celebrate sensation.”