Thursday, September 4, 2008

Try to Remember to see The Fantasticks!

After my recent post of New York memories, in which I fondly recalled seeing The Fantasticks at the old Sullivan Street Playhouse in 1995 and lamenting the closing of that show in 2002 after a run of 42 years, someone special sent me an email containing marvelous news. It's so cool that I'm not going to attempt to paraphrase it and am instead posting the message below:


Dear Lydia,
Thank you so much for posting about The Fantasticks on your blog. I'm glad the original production at the Sullivan Street Playhouse moved you to tears. It's a testament to the enduring beauty of the longest-running musical in the world.
I'm writing to let you know that The Fantasticks did not stay closed for long. Four years after it closed on Sullivan Street, it officially re-opened in the heart of Times Square at the brand new Jerry Orbach Theater (named after the actor whose career began as El Gallo in the original Sullivan Street company). Tom Jones, who wrote the lyrics and book, also directed this production, and for a while appeared in it as Henry, the Old Actor.
I wanted to let you know that The Fantasticks is indeed alive and well. Perhaps best of all, the Orbach Theater was built to mimic the Sullivan Street Playhouse in terms of design, so this production is just as intimate as the original. There are still stories of folks weeping in the front row during Try to Remember, Soon It's Gonna Rain, They Were You and all the other memorable songs.
Hopefully you'll find this information helpful, and might even devote another blog post to the current revival of The Fantasticks. If you'd like to do so, let me know and I'll send you a production photo from the current cast. Of course, if you're ever back in New York, please stop in and say hello to The Fantasticks.
Many thanks for your post,
John Capo
DBS Press | 1627 Broadway | New York, NY 10019


Well. It didn't take me long to respond, asking for the photos and seeking permission to include his message in my blog post. John sent all that in another email explaining these Fantasticks photos by Joan Marcus. They feature the "Happy Ending" sequence and a scene from "Soon It's Gonna Rain." And he wished Mike and me a happy anniversary, which really tied together our New York memories and our 13th anniversary beautifully.

After my initial post Honour left a comment that it had given her wonderful ideas for her upcoming trip to NYC. I sure hope you read this post, too, Honour because a visit to the Jerry Orbach Theater to enjoy The Fantasticks can now be added to your list! Lucky you.

Here's a beautiful video featuring the late Jerry Orbach singing Try to Remember. (I will.)
The video I originally posted was of Jerry Orbach singing at the Reagan White House, but it was removed. I'm replacing the emptiness with this:



Don't Feed The Pixies said...

To coin a phrase - it's fantastick (sic) that you got this response. If only other companies were this thoughtful and helpful.

An additional point about Brazil, since you were thinking of renting it. It's my favourite film and everytime i watch it i see something new in it, but you will either love it or hate it (there's no inbetween, as with much of Gilliam's films). Think 1984 on acid and you'll be fine. :)

PS: If you do watch it you MUST tell me what you think

PPS: if you've never seen a Terry Gilliam film before i recommend you watch the more audience friendly "The Fisher King" and "Twelve Monkeys" first. Brazil is his masterpiece though.

Lily Hydrangea said...

I remember when the Fantasticks closed. I used to live directly behind that theatre on Thompson Street and would pass by there all the time wondering if I'd ever get to see it. I guess now I have another chance. Also, what are the odds that the publicist for the show would read your post. It's a small world in this blogosphere.

Lydia said...

Thanks much for the clues into better enjoying a Gilliam film. I promise to let you know what I think about the film!
I agree with you about the publicist for The Fantasticks: a cut above.

That's truly amazing that you lived near and thought your opportunity had passed to see the play! If/when you go see it at the Jerry Orbach Theater please let me know your impressions.
The publicist said that he uses a Good Alert set up that obviously steered him toward the post in my blog. I'm not aware of Good Alert, but Technorati sure is messing up these days: no "pings" for two weeks for me and nothing I've tried can get them to crawl my blog...

Lisa Allender said...

Hi All--wow! I teared-up hearing the magnificent Jerry Orbach sing.
Thank you for this lovely, lovely vid...

Lydia said...

It obviously affected you as it did me. I get chills looking at it there on my blog page, even before clicking the arrow to hear it again...and again!



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