Los Angeles / Regional Theater Review: THE FANTASTICKS (South Coast Rep in Costa Mesa)

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by Tony Frankel on May 23, 2013

in Theater-Los Angeles,Theater-Regional

FANTASTIC, INDEED

Fantasticks may be the longest running musical in America, but Amanda Dehnert’s magical production at South Coast Rep should run forever. The backdrop for this timeless wonder is now a defunct seaside amusement park, instead of the normally Tony Frankel's Stage and Cinema LA review of South Coast Rep's "The Fantasticks."simple and open stages of countless productions past. A captivating cast recounts a tale of innocent young love and a ruthless world which actually makes that love richer. Harvey Schmidt’s music and Tom Jones’ book and lyrics have never been more appealing, surrounded as they are by simple but no less effective magic tricks (wait until you see what can be done with confetti and a handheld fan). This bittersweet tale includes romance, poetry, tenderness, adventure, achingly beautiful love songs, and comedic romps. Whether you have seen a previous revival or have been in a production yourself, I will personally take anyone to task for not running down to Costa Mesa Tony Frankel's Stage and Cinema LA review of South Coast Rep's "The Fantasticks."tout de suite. Noticing minor imperfections in this show would be like obsessing over a freckle on the loveliest face you have ever seen. It was as if, after dozens and dozens of other productions, I was seeing this American treasure for the first time. Never have I heard this perfect music – scored for harp, piano and percussion – played more beautifully, and never have I seen such genuine character nuances. Never have I had goose bumps while watching it, and never have I floated out of the theater when it ended. This Fantasticks must indeed be the Never Never Land of our dreams.

photos by Henry DiRocco/SCR

Tony Frankel's Stage and Cinema LA review of South Coast Rep's "The Fantasticks."

The Cast: Anthony Carillo, Nate Dendy, Richard Doyle, Hal Landon Jr., Addi McDaniel, Gregory North, Perry Ojeda and Scott Waara

Musical Direction and Piano: Dennis Castellano / Harpist: Ellie Choate / Percussionist: Louis Alice / Sets by Eugene Lee / Costumes by Jessica Ford / Lighting by Lap Chi Chu / Sound by Cricket S. Myers / Choreography by Sharon Jenkins / Illusion Designs by Jim Steinmeyer

The Fantasticks
South Coast Repertory in Coast Mesa
scheduled to end on June 9, 2013
for tickets, call 714.708.5555 or visit http://www.scr.org

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