Palm Beach Dramaworks, West Palm Beach’s only resident professional theater, will present The Fantasticks as its summer offering. The show will open Friday, July 13 at 8 p.m. for a strictly limited engagement at new Don & Ann Brown Theatre (201 Clematis Street). Specially priced preview performances are slated for July 11-12, with regularly scheduled curtain times through Aug. 5.
Known around the globe as the world’s longest-running musical, The Fantasticks, by Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt, tells the story of two neighboring fathers who trick their children into falling in love under the believed pretense that children cannot fall in love unless that love is forbidden. The fathers construct a wall between their houses as well as a fabricated family feud; they hire a troupe of actors to stage a fake kidnapping of daughter, Luisa, so Matt can come to her rescue and in turn settle the family dispute. Of course, all things do not go according to plan.
Dramaworks Resident Director J. Barry Lewis will direct and Craig Ames will serve as musical director. Theater-goers may remember Lewis and Ames from their earlier collaboration on Dramaworks’ acclaimed and award-wining production of Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well and Living in Paris.
Jones and Schmidt first met at the University of Texas in 1950. Jones was a drama student majoring in play production, and Schmidt was studying art in the hopes of becoming a commercial artist. However, their first collaboration, a musical revue titled Hipsy-Boo! was such a success that they continued with their musical theatre partnership, which eventually brought the two to New York and nine years after their first successful musical, The Fantasticks was created and performed as a one-act at Barnard College. In 1960, The Fantasticks opened at the Sullivan Street Playhouse in Greenwich Village, where it played for 42 years. In 2002, The Fantasticks closed and in 2006 reopened at the newly constructed Snapple Theatre in Times Square, where it continues to run.
Palm Beach Dramaworks’ performance schedule is as follows: evening performances will take place at 8 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and 7 p.m. Sunday. Matinee performances will take place at 2 p.m. Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays. Individual tickets cost $55 for all performances. Student tickets are available for $10. Group rates for 20 or more and discounted season subscriptions are also available.
Palm Beach Dramaworks is a nonprofit, professional theater and is a member of the Theatre Communications Group, the South Florida Theatre League, the Southeastern Theatre Conference, the Florida Professional Theatres Association, the Florida Theatre Conference and the Palm Beach County Cultural Council. Dramaworks’ new Don & Ann Brown Theater is located in the heart of downtown West Palm Beach.
For additional information, call the box office at (561) 514-4042, open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., or visit www.palmbeachdramaworks.org.