“The Fantasticks” Has Run (Almost, Sorta) 50 Years. Can it Ever Happen Again?

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Fantasticks II

You can practically see Andrew Lloyd Webber sitting in the front row for this one — his puny-by-comparison musical, The Phantom of the Opera, has only been running for 21 years. The following comes from PR whizkid John Capo:

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The Fantasticks
The Secrets Behind A Long-Running Show:
How They Did It And How You Can, Too

A Converation with Don Farber and Robert Viagas

Don Farber and Robert Viagas, authors of The Amazing Story of The Fantasticks, will hold a conversation and Q&A before the Thurs., Sept. 17, 2009 performance of The Fantasticks, the world’s longest-running musical, entitled “The Fantasticks: The Secrets Behind A Long-Running Show – How They Did It And How You Can, Too.” The event, which begins at 6:15pm at the Snapple Theater Center, is part of the yearlong celebration of The Fantasticks‘ 50th anniversary.

To make a reservation for the free conversation call the Snapple Theater Center box office at (212) 921-7862.

Farber, a veteran entertainment attorney and educator, is the author of seven books dealing with various aspects of the entertainment industry including From Option to Opening, Producing on Broadway, Actor’s Guide, Producing, Financing and Distributing Film, Producing Theatre and Common Sense Negotiation. He has taught at York University in Toronto, Hofstra University and The New School for Social Research and is of Counsel to the firm of Jacob, Medinger & Finnegan LLP.

Viagas founded and managed news services for Playbill.com, Theatre.com and Broadway Television Network. He is the author of a dozen theater books including On the Line: The Creation of A Chorus Line, The Alchemy of Theatre, I’m The Greatest Star: Broadway’s Top Musical Legends from 1900 to Today, The Back Stage Guide to Broadway and the popular Playbill Broadway Yearbook series. He currently serves as Program Director of Playbill Broadcast (where he created the first all-theater web radio station, PlaybillRadio.com) and Editor of Playbill Books.

The Fantasticks (music by Harvey Schmidt, book/lyrics/direction by Tom Jones) is a captivating and simple romantic comedy about a boy and girl who fall in and out of love at the hands of their meddling fathers. The audience uses its imagination to follow the narrator, El Gallo, as he creates a world of moonlight and magic until the boy and girl find their way back to one other. The score, which includes the hit songs “Try To Remember,” “They Were You” and “Soon It’s Gonna Rain,” is as timeless as the story itself.

Having played a record-breaking 17,162 performances in its original run at the Sullivan Street Playhouse in Greenwich Village, The Fantasticks is now playing in the heart of Times Square at The Snapple Theater Center.

The Fantasticks company includes Lewis Cleale (Giant, Broadway’s Spamalot, Once Upon A Mattress), MacIntyre Dixon (Broadway’s Gypsy, 1776, A Funny Thing…Forum, Beauty and The Beast), Tom Flagg (Broadway’s Will Rogers Follies, How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Oklahoma), Gene Jones (No Country for Old Men, Broadway’s Big River, Joe Turner’s Come and Gone), Addi McDaniel (Disney’s High School Musical at North Shore Music Theatre, Little House on the Prairie at The Guthrie), Michael Nostrand, (A&E’s Emmy Award-winning Peter Pan, national tours of Jelly’s Last Jam, The Mystery of Edwin Drood), Evy Ortiz, Richard Roland (Broadway’s The Scarlet Pimpernel, Follies), Steve Routman (The Keen Company’s The Conscientious Objector, Awake and Sing! at Arena Stage), Jonathan Schwartz and Douglas Ullman, Jr. (A Funny Thing…Forum at Florida Repertory Theater, The Sound of Music Asia tour).

The Fantasticks plays at The Snapple Theater Center, 210 West 50th Street at Broadway. The performance schedule is as follows: Mondays at 8PM, Wednesdays at 2PM, Thursdays and Fridays at 8PM, Saturdays at 2PM & 8PM, and Sundays at 3PM & 7:15PM. Tickets for The Fantasticks are available by calling the box office at (212) 921-7862 or Ticketmaster.com at (212) 307-4100.