Stagecrafters opens "The Fantasticks" - World's longest running musical

Timeless tale of love and discovery

ROYAL OAK, Mich (WXYZ) - Stagecrafters says The Fantasticks is touted as the world's longest-running musical for a reason. It's a love story with a universal appeal for all generations. The show runs December 6th – 22th on the 2nd Stage at the Baldwin Theatre in Royal Oak.  Tickets are available now at or at the box office: 248-541-6430.

The Fantasticks is the perfect blend of humor and romance set to song. The simple story is about young lovers, a boy, Matt, (Bill Brunner of Royal Oak), and a girl, Luisa, (Cassie Najor of Birmingham) who also happen to be next-door neighbors. Their fathers (Jack Tillotson of Royal Oak and John Nowaczyk of Ferndale) approve of the relationship and cleverly devise a plan of reverse-psychology to help bring their children together. They build a wall between the two yards which they hope holds an allure of forbidden love to their children. 

The narrator, El Gallo (Patrick Kilbourn of Berkley) is hired by the fathers to kidnap Luisa which then allows Matt to "save" her. The audience follows the lovers from their beginning infatuation then through a difficult but necessary separation only to finally find their way back to each other.

" The Fantasticks has long been one of my favorite shows," says director Jody Florkowski of Ferndale. "It is simple in premise, but at the same time, intricate in its message. It is romantic in the literary sense. The lovers are in love with each other, but also with the idea of being in love.  The playwright approaches the text poetically, and the rich prose draws the playgoer in.  Additionally, the playwright allows the players to address the audience, making them companions and confidants to the characters on stage.  It is the simplicity of the story and the complexity of the characters that make this book something special," says Florkowski.

Stagecrafters says audiencesshould not assume that the world's longest-running musical might be stale, because director Florkowski is confident in the show's appeal to all generations. "Like any time-honored piece produced today, audiences should expect to see and hear the characters and songs they love, yet with a current approach. The show is masterfully written in a way that always will seem wonderfully fresh and delightfully nostalgic," says Florkowski.

The Fantasticks original off-Broadway production premiered at Sullivan Street Playhouse in Greenwich Village on May 3, 1960. The musical, with book and lyrics by Tom Jones and music by Harvey Schmidt, is loosely based on the play "Les Romanesques" by Edmond Rostand. The show ran for a total of 42 continuous years and 17,162 performances. It won the 1991 Tony Honors for Excellence in Theatre. Some notable actors who have appeared in the off-Broadway and touring productions include Liza Minnelli, Elliott Gould, Glenn Close, Kristin Chenoweth and Eileen Fulton. Many classic songs come from the show including "Try to Remember," "Soon It's Gonna Rain," and "Never Say No."

Advance tickets for performances are $18 each. Tickets may be purchased online at (online handling fees apply) or by phone at 248-541-6430 using Visa or MasterCard. All seats are reserved.  If shows have not sold out, tickets can be purchased at the box office one hour prior to the performance for an additional $2.00 per ticket. December 12th is "Half-Price Student Night" for those students with a valid ID. Due to the intimacy of the theatre, there is no late seating. The Baldwin Theatre is located at 415 S. Lafayette, Royal Oak.


Show dates and times :

Friday, Dec 6             8:00 pm                      

Saturday, Dec 7          8:00 pm

Sunday, Dec 8            2:00 pm

Thursday, Dec 12       8:00 pm                      

Friday, Dec 13            8:00 pm

Saturday, Dec 14        8:00 pm

Sunday, Dec 15          2:00 pm

Thursday, Dec 19       8:00 pm                      

Friday, Dec 20            8:00 pm

Saturday, Dec 21        8:00 pm

Sunday, Dec 22          2:00 pm

The Fantasticks Cast and Crew by Community


Patrick Kilbourn              The Narrator (El Gallo)                     Berkley

Dan Rose                        The Actor (Henry) and Set Design  Berkley

Justine Dearth                 Stage Manager                                 Berkley

Cassie Najor                   The Girl (Luisa)                                 Birmingham

Emilie McClelland           Assistant Producer                           Clawson

John Nowaczyk              The Girl's Father (Bellomy)              Ferndale

Jody Florkowski              Director                                             Ferndale

Jenny Boyle                    Set Dress/Props                               Ferndale

Ed Berger                        The Man Who Dies (Mortimer)        Pleasant Ridge

Alicia Dembs                   A Mute                                              Pleasant Ridge

Jane MacFarlane            Assistant Director                             Pleasant Ridge

Bill Brunner                     The Boy (Matt)                                 Royal Oak

Jack Tillotson                  The Boy's Father (Hucklebee)         Royal Oak

Amy Schell                       A Mute                                              Royal Oak

Erica Battle                     Producer                                           Royal Oak

Rich Sorensen                Master Carpenter                             Royal Oak

Gary Castaneda             Assistant Director                             Warren