By: Amanda Narcisi
With an amazing twist of insanity The Fantasticks hit the stage at Pittsburgh Public Theater. The longest running musical from broadway has a month long stay at the O’Reilly where a slew of local and new actors give standing ovation performances.
The Fantasticks is a story of a boy (Matt played by Jamen Nanthakumar) and a girl (Luisa played by Mary Elizabeth Drake) and the elaborate plan from their fathers (Gavan Pamer and Daniel Krell) to get them together. The first the fathers built a wall and forbid the boy and girl to even communicate. The fathers acted like enemies and in turn because they said no the kids became madly in love. To end the feud and get the kids to wed, the fathers hired a bandit to stage a kidnapping. During the kidnapping the boy saves the girl and then the fathers act like friends again. This is when intermissions happens and the whole play changes after. When we came back to the story after intermission we got a different look at the couple. They had lost the magic of being banned from one another and the boy and girl separated. The Fantasticks then took a few more wild twist and turns that were hard to keep up. So I suggest you get tickets.
There is one unique part of this play that I didn’t see coming, but looked forward to what this character did next. The character of “The Wall”. The wall wasn’t just a part of the stage set but a person, played by Jason Shavers, that had multiple parts to the entire story. He had no lines and most of the time when he was addressed it response was a look or mime-like gesture. At one point he stood on a box and held a stick that symbolized “The Wall” that blocked the boy and girl. Other times he added access to the songs like prop grabbing or confetti throwing. At one point “The Wall” even made it snow.
The Fantasticks performs through October 30th with various show times and dates. Tickets start at $30.00 and can be purchased at PPT.org.
*Photo Credit: Pittsburgh Public Theater*