LAKE FOREST, IL – Citadel Theatre has announced the cast and crew for the third production of its 17th season – THE FANTASTICKS. The world’s longest running musical, THE FANTASTICKS tells the story of Matt and Luisa, young next-door neighbors who fall in love precisely because their scheming fathers, knowing the kids will do exactly what they’re told NOT to do, have been keeping them apart.
Playing the central role of El Gallo, who both narrates the story and figures prominently in it, will be Brian Hupp, whose credits include roles and guest performances with opera companies and symphony orchestras across the Midwest as well as such iconic musical theatre roles as Sweeney Todd, and Sky Masterson in GUYS AND DOLLS. The young couple Matt and Luisa will be played by Jonah Cochin (of Citadel’s recent ANNIE) and Aurora Penepacker, a graduate of Glenbrook South High School who will complete a degree in musical theater at the Chicago College of Performing Arts of this Spring. John B. Boss and Bill Chamberlain (Warbucks and Roosevelt, respectively, in Citadel’s ANNIE) will play the fathers, Hucklebee and Bellomy. Completing the cast will be John Benischek, also of Citadel’s ANNIE as Mortimer, Henry Michael Odum (Henry), and Kristina (The Mute). Understudies are Christopher Johnson (El Gallo), Brooks Whitlock (Matt), Emily Lewis (Luisa, The Mute), and Joshua Seeger (Hucklebee, Bellomy, Mortimer, and Henry).
THE FANTASTICKS will be directed by longtime Citadel collaborator Pat Murphy, who has directed A CHRISTMAS CAROL, DEATHTRAP, OLIVER, and LIGHT UP THE SKY at Citadel. Jake Ganzer, who was choreographer of the recent Citadel musicals ANNIE and JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT, will choreograph. The music director is Aaron Kaplan of the music faculties at the Music Institute of Chicago and Glenbrook North and Glenbrook South High Schools. The design team includes the Jeff Award-winning designers Eric Luchen (Scenic Design) and Diane D. Fairchild (Lighting Design), along with Emily N. Brink (Costume Design), Bob Boxer (Sound Design), and Donna Price (Props Designer). Samantha Tink is Stage Manager and Evan Sposato is Master Carpenter.
THE FANTASTICKS originally opened off -Broadway in New York City’s Greenwich Village in 1960 where it played until 2002. In 2006 it was remounted in a new theater in Times Square where it ran another 11 years, easily making its combined 53-year run the longest of any musical. It includes the song “Try to Remember,” which entreats audiences to remember a sweeter, gentler time. Writers Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt adapted their story from a play by Edmund Rostand (writer of CYRANO DE BERGERAC) in which two neighbors plot to make their children fall in love and marry each other by forbidding them to ever see each other, knowing that children will most want to do what they are told not to do. The boy and girl find a way to meet despite the wall that separates them, but they learn some hard lessons about romance and adventure vs. real life before the musical ends. Single tickets for THE FANTASTICKS are now on sale at www.citadeltheatre.org.
Music by Harvey Schmidt, Book and Lyrics by Tom Jones
Directed by Pat Murphy
Choreography by Jake Ganzer
Music Direction by Aaron Kaplan
Friday, February 7, 2020 – Sunday, Mar 8, 2020
(Previews February 5 and 6 @ 7:30 pm)
Press Opening Friday, February 7 @ 8:00 pm
Thursdays at 7:30 pm, Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 pm, Sundays at 3 pm.
Preview ticket prices – $20.00. Regular run prices Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays $40.00; Saturdays and Sundays $45.00. Discounts available for groups, seniors and student.
Citadel Theatre, 300 S. Waukegan Road, Lake Forest, IL
Tickets available online at www.citadeltheatre.org or by phone at 847-735-8554, ext. 1
THE FANTASTICKS is a funny and romantic musical about a boy, a girl, and their two fathers who try to keep them apart. The narrator, El Gallo, asks the audience to use their imagination and follow him into a world of moonlight and magic. The boy and the girl fall in love, grow apart and finally find their way back to each other after realizing the truth in El Gallo’s words that, “without a hurt, the heart is hollow.”
Pat Murphy (Director) returns to Citadel Theatre as director for the winter production of THE FANTASTICKS. Last year he directed LIGHT UP THE SKY. Previous shows he directed at Citadel are, OLIVER!, A CHRISTMAS CAROL several years ago and DEATHTRAP. He has also acted in LEND ME A TENOR and OTHER PEOPLE’S MONEY. Murphy was Director of Theatre for 35 years at Glenbrook North High School. Murphy directed over one hundred productions at Glenbrook North before retiring a number of years ago. He now directs, acts and coaches theatre students and actors.
Tom Jones (Book and Lyrics) and Harvey Schmidt (Music) are the legendary writing team best known for shaping the American musical landscape with their 1960 hit, THE FANTASTICKS. After its Off-Broadway opening in May 1960, it went on to become the longest-running production in the history of the American stage and one of the most frequently produced musicals in the world.
Their first Broadway show, 110 IN THE SHADE, was revived on Broadway in a new production starring Audra MacDonald. I DO! I DO!, their two-character musical starring Mary Martin and Robert Preston, was a success on Broadway and is frequently done around the country.
For several years Jones and Schmidt worked privately at their theatre workshop, concentrating on small-scale musicals in new and often untried forms. The most notable of these efforts were CELEBRATION, which moved to Broadway, and PHILEMON, which won an Outer Critics Circle Award. They contributed incidental music and lyrics to the Off-Broadway play COLETTE starring Zoe Caldwell, then later did a full-scale musical version under the title COLETTE COLLAGE. THE SHOW GOES ON, a musical revue featuring their theatre songs and starring Jones and Schmidt, was presented at the York Theatre, and MIRETTE, their musical based on the award-winning children’s book, was premiered at the Goodspeed Opera House in Connecticut. In addition to an Obie Award and the 1992 Special Tony Award for THE FANTASTICKS, Jones and Schmidt were inducted into the Broadway Hall of Fame at the Gershwin Theatre, and on May 3, 1999 their ‘stars’ were added to the Off-Broadway Walk of Fame outside the Lucille Lortel Theatre. Then in 2012, Jones & Schmidt were honored by being inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
Citadel Theatre is one of Chicagoland’s premier live theatres, producing hundreds of performances annually and inspiring audiences for nearly 18 years. Founded by Scott and Ellen Phelps in 2002, Citadel Theatre is comprised of its Main Stage performances, its On Tour programs, and its theatre acting classes for children. A proud member of the League of Chicago Theatres and the Lake Forest/Lake Bluff ArtsLink, Citadel Theatre offers a unique intimate theatre experience that transports you to another setting and leaves you feeling exhilarated and wanting more. A recognized 501(c)3 non-profit organization, Citadel can accept tax-deductible donations. For more information, ticketing, and to donate, please visit Citadel online at www.CitadelTheatre.org or call 847.735.8554.