Presby Players present The Fantastiks

| 29 Sep 2011 | 08:52

PORT JERVIS, N.Y. - “The Fantasticks” is the longest-running musical in the world, and with good reason. At the heart of the poetry and subtle theatrical sophistication is a purity and simplicity that transcends cultural barriers; a timeless fable of love that manages to be nostalgic and universal at the same time. The original production opened in 1960 at the Sullivan Street Playhouse in Greenwich Village, and was a launching pad for scores of actors, including Jerry Orbach, F. Murray Abraham, Liza Minnelli, and Glenn Close. For those who did not catch it the first 17,162 times off-Broadway, “The Fantasticks” is coming to Port Jervis. The Presby Players production, which opens Thursday, June 22, has a cast of 8 multi-talented performers from the Tri-State area. They include Bill Thomas, starring as El Gallo, Kelsey Stalter and Tim Webster as the Girl and the Boy, Jeff Brewster and Joe Rudy as the Fathers, Marc Coda and George Schock as the Actors, and Dana Zielazny as the Mute. The show is directed by Bill Thomas, with musical accompaniment by Sandy Stalter. The plot is an age-old tale. Its ingredients are simple: a boy, a girl, two fathers, and a wall. The starry-eyed young lovers yearn for the dangerous attractions of the world outside, then opt instead for fulfillment in each other’s arms and in hearth and home. And as proof that a sunny, funny musical about love has lasting value, consider that the show’s original backers have received a 20,000% return on their total investment. This, in an era when popular culture often seems to dwell on the darker side of life, is a true social phenomenon. “The Fantasticks” will be performed at 7:30 p.m., June 22 to 24, at 6:30 p.m. on June 25, and at 2 p.m. on June 24, at Don Marsh Hall, First Presbyterian Church, 60 Sussex Street, Port Jervis. Tickets are $15. Make your reservations by calling 845-856-1231.