The Fantasticks

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The Fantasticks [1] is a 1960 musical with music by Harvey Schmidt (1929–2018)[2] and lyrics by American lyricist and librettist Tom Jones (1928-)[3] (Not to be confused with the popular Welsh singer).

The original text

The Fantasticks is loosely based on the play Les Romanesques by French dramatist Edmond Rostand (1868–1918) [4]. A small-scale musical, it opened in the off-Broadway Sullivan Street Playhouse on May 3rd, 1960.

Translations and adaptations

Performance history in South Africa

1961: Staged by Kushlick-Gluckman, directed by Leon Gluckman, with Kendrew Lascelles (The Mute), Billy Matthews (The Boy's Father), Kempton Oliver (The Girl's Father), Marie van Zyl (The Girl), Roy Hilligen (The Boy), Ivan Berold (The Narrator), Frank Douglass (The Man Who Dies), Rigby Foster (The Actor), Jack Kruger (at the piano) and Desmond McCarthy (at the harp). Decor by Ian Monte and costumes by Berenice Michelow.

1967: Presented by the University of Cape Town's Speech and Drama Department in December at the Quadrangle Theatre, directed by Robert Mohr.

1968: UCT's The Fantasticks presented by University Theatre Stellenbosch at the H.B. Thom Theatre in April, directed by Robert Mohr, starring Limpie Basson, Grethe-Maria Fox, Ralph Lawson, Peter Grobbelaar, Peter Uys, David Haynes, Janice Honeyman, Philip Graham. Toured the Eastern Province in July 1968.

1972: Presented by PACT in the Breytenbach Theatre, with Eckard Rabe, Will Bernard, Frantz Dobrowsky, Marko van der Colff, Jan Engelen and Sue Kiel. Directed by Ken Leach.

1975: PACOFS, directed by Johan Bernard, starring Estelle de Waal, Elize Cawood, James Borthwick and others. Musical director Laurie Potgieter, decor and costume design by Dicky Longhurst. This production was presented in Pietermaritzburg and Durban, in association with NAPAC, in October 1975 and visited Ficksburg, Sasolburg and Bloemfontein's Little Theatre in November 1975.

1997: Production directed by Philip Godawa at the Civic Theatre, Johannesburg, from 3 July to 2 August 1997.


Kushlick-Gluckman theatre programme, 1961.

Theatre programme (Kushlick-Gluckman) held by NELM: [Collection: ASCH, Valda]: 2005. 65. 1. 10.

Theatre programme (1997 production) held by NELM: [Collection: FARMER, Anthony]: 2007. 18. 13. 400.

Inskip, Donald P., 1972. p.153.

UTS theatre pamphlet

PACT Newsletter, April 1972; March 1972

PACOFS Drama 25 Years, 1963-1988

Fantasticks theatre programmes 1967, 1975.

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