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The Fantasticks (22-Sep-2000)

Director: Michael Ritchie

Writers: Tom Jones; Harvey Schmidt

From a play: The Fantasticks by Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt

Based on a book: Les Romanesques by Edmond Rostand (play)

Keywords: Musical

NameOccupationBirthDeathKnown for
Tony Cox
31-Mar-1958   Marcus in Bad Santa
Joel Grey
11-Apr-1932   Cabaret
Barnard Hughes
16-Jul-1915 11-Jul-2006 High priest in TRON
Jean Louisa Kelly
9-Mar-1972   Kim Warner on Yes, Dear
Joey McIntyre
31-Dec-1972   New Kids on the Block
14-Feb-1948   The nonspeaking half of Penn and Teller


Review by anonymous (posted on 25-Jan-2007)

The film version of this Broadway chestnut was a long time coming, and even when it did come it sat on a shelf for a few years after being filmed. It took Francis Ford Coppola's interest in it to help usher it in to theatres after some strategic editing. But it was all worth it, because this version of "Fantasticks" doesn't disappoint in the least. As one who is very familiar with the off-Broadway show (and saw the original production at the Sullivan Street Playhouse in Greenwich Village...of course, who didn't...it ran for over 40 years and because the longest running musical in the world), this version pushes all the right buttons present in the stage version while adding some new surprises as well. Thanks to the watchful eyes of Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt (the original creators of the show) who wrote the screenplay, this filmed version is spared the fate so many Broadway musicals suffer in the transition from stage to celluloid, often losing their original magic in favor of adding marketable box office stars (who don't always fit, let alone sing), new songs that don't quite work, etc. Former Backstreet Boy Joey McIntyre turns in a fine performance as The Boy; Jean Louisa Kelly is delightful at The Girl and the late Barnard Hughes couldn't be more wonderfully befuddled as The Old Actor. Joel Grey adds some Broadway star power to the proceedings as one of the fathers. And they all sing with their own voices (quite successfully, too). If you've never seen this classic tale of lost innocence and true love, you owe it to yourself to see this movie (or stop in at the Snapple Theatre in Times Square/NYC where a well-received revival of the show is currently playing).

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