By Leah Morrison
“The Fantasticks,” a 1960s classic American musical, will light up the Dale Snow Black Box Theatre stage from Feb. 24 to the 28.
This theater, smaller than the Smith-McFarland where most ESU productions are usually held was chosen for its smaller size, in order to really enhance the performance.
“The Fantasticks” is the world’s longest running musi-cal.
It has been performed in New York City over 17,000 times.
The story is about two neighbors who try to arrange a marriage between their son and daughter.
The parents set up a mock abduction so the son, Matt, giv-ing him the opportunity to save the daughter Luisa.
The parents also build up a wall to act as if they are feuding, and they carry it out so well that Matt and Luisa are fooled into getting married.
In the second act, things go awry.
Matt and Luisa get tired of each other and Matt runs away.
The time apart gives Luisa and Matt some enlightenment, and allows them to mature for the final scenes.
“The play is a little dark at times, but the music is incred-ible,” sophomore Emma Skilton says.
Skilton plays the role of Hucklebee (the boy’s father) and also a role in the Raddish cast.
In fact, the entire show is double cast, so each student can have maximum stage time.
Auditions were held at the end of the fall semester, and the cast was told to work on the music over the winter break.
Practices started one week into the new semester, increasing in duration as well as intensity as the weeks approach show time.
The first three weeks were spent learning and rehearsing the music, the obvious weight of any musical.
Then the last two weeks were spent staging everything, and putting it all together.
The cast has rehearsed long and hard on a daily basis, only taking a rest on the weekends.
This upcoming week is tech week.
Rehearsals will be in full costume, with all the lights, sounds and music, including a live pianist.
This particular show is a professor-run show.
Dr. Margaret Ball is in charge of this theater group, and though a small cast, they make up for it in talent.
There are two theater groups on campus: Stage 2, a student run group and Musical Theater Organization (MTO), a professor run musical theater group.
For Katie Reardon, ESU’s 2015 homecoming queen and a graduating senior, this production marks the end of ESU stardom.
As the president of MTO and member of Stage 2, she has held numerous leading roles, such as Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz.
Katie, as well as others, will be helping out backstage in the next production later this semester this semester, titled “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf.”
To the average college student, without much knowledge of the 1960s era, the musical will still be relatable.
The dancing is modern, and the songs are catchy, especially when paired with an all-acoustic music accompaniment.
The music truly is astounding, including the original piano and harp music.
Opening night is Wednesday, Feb. 24 at 7:30 pm.
The rest of the performances will be Feb. 25 and 26 at 7:30 p.m., Feb. 27 at 2 p.m. and 7:30p.m. and Feb. 28 at 2 p.m.
Tickets are $7 for students with ID, $10 for faculty and staff as well as senior citizens, and $12 for others.
These tickets may be purchased at the box office or online at esu.edu/theatertickets
There will also be a special matinee performance on Feb. 26 at 10 a.m. All seats for this performance will be $5.
Tickets for the matinee can only be purchased at the box office.
Come out and support ESU’s theater group, and be prepared to be impressed.
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