‘The Fantasticks’ Musical to be Presented at UM-Flint

The UM-Flint Department of Theatre & Dance will present the musical, The Fantasticks, running from January 26 through February 4, at the College & University Performance Art Theatre.

“The Fantasticks is the longest running musical of all time,” said Stephanie Dean, associate professor of theatre and director of the production. “It is a funny, romantic, and poetic love story about a boy and a girl who live next door to each other.  Their two fathers trick them into falling in love by pretending to feud.

The Fantasticks is set up as a play within a play. When the show opens we are introduced to a traveling group of actors who invite the audience to use their imagination to create a world of moonlight and magic as it comments on what true love really is. “

The 1960 musical is credited to Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt, with a film adaption that came in the 1990s.

“There’s a reason this is the longest running musical of all times,” said Dean. “It is sweet, timeless, touching, and relevant. The language in the play is poetic and the images the text presents are so vivid that it is easy to relate to the intense emotions these two young people feel.”

Dean also feels that the students involved add energy to the production.

“This a great group of students with a lot of passion and spunk,” said Dean. “This show is very ensemble-based, and our cast strong and harmonious.”

Students that are participating in the production find the experience positive, including Taylor Boes, who is a senior at the university.

“Working on The Fantasticks has been a very valuable experience for me,” said Boes. “Being new to the musical theatre game, it is immensely comforting to be working with people who are not only my peers, but my friends outside of the classroom, as well. The director, musical director, and stage management team consistently provide a welcoming atmosphere for the actors to create and explore, which, in my opinion, is essential to the success of any show.

“As the character of Hucklebee, the biggest challenge I have faced so far is filling the shoes of a role that is traditionally played by a male. I’ve been making little discoveries as I go, and I am very excited to share the final product with my community.”

Production dates are Friday, Jan. 26 at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 27 at 7:30 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 28 at 2 p.m., Friday, Feb. 2 at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 3, at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, Feb. 4, at 2 p.m. Regular ticket prices are $15, seniors 60 years of age and older can purchase admission at $10, and the price for college students is $8.

Cynthia Risch, a freshman at the university who is playing Luisa in the performance, looks forward to the production.

“The Fantasticks has been a huge learning experience for me,” said Risch. “Being a freshman here at UM-Flint, I am ecstatic to be getting cast in the main stage productions already. Professor Dean is such a great director and she helps so much in and out of rehearsals. I have learned so much about my voice, how to be natural while acting, and, most of all, I have learned how much professors care about their students.”

For further details regarding production, times, prices, or other information, call  810.237.6522 or visit https://www.umflint.edu/theatredance/season-information.