09-12-12-fantasticks.gifThe world’s longest running musical is coming to Fayetteville. The Fantasticks is on stage at the Gilbert Theater from Sept. 20 through Oct. 7. Show times are Thursday through Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.

This 1960s musical tells the moving story of two young lovers whose fathers plot to trick them into falling in love. They discover the deception and go their own ways, only to find love with each other once the bumps and bruises of life mature their notions of love.

This well known musical, with music by Harvey Schmidt and lyrics and book by Tom Jones, has been performed more than 17,000 times in the last 42 years. The score includes familiar songs such as “Try to Remember,” “Soon It’s Gonna Rain,” and “Much More.” It is played with a small cast, a two to three-person orchestra and minimalist set design.

This will be the first show for Robyne Parrish, new artistic director for the Gilbert Theater. Says Parrish, “I saw the show when I was 16-years-old in New York City with my father. It is the longest running musical in the world for a reason. This is the kind of magic the Gilbert has, and what better way of carrying on the tradition than having the Fantasticks be my first show as Artistic Director here at the Gilbert.”

The Gilbert Theater was founded in 1994 in the basement of Lynn Pryer’s home, and over the years operated in several locations around Fayetteville. The theater’s current home is 116 Green Street. On the corner of Green and Bow streets located near the Market House, the theater’s entrance is on the Bow Street side of the building.

The Gilbert Theater is a semi-professional, community-oriented theatre company and conservatory serving Fayetteville, and the surrounding area. The theater produces up to six plays and musicals per year as well as a full slate of theater-oriented classes for students of all ages in its Gilbert Conservatory and Gilbert Glee initiatives. The theater prides itself on committing itself to the continuous improvement of its community of local artists through training, collaboration with professionals in the field and meaningful production experience.

An exciting first for the Gilbert Theater, the cast will be joined by union actor, Patrick Riviere from Los Angeles. He will spend five weeks in Fayetteville just to play the lead part of El Gallo.

“The theater is very proud to be evolving in such a way that hiring a professional Equity guest artist seemed like the next step in raising the stature of the theatre — a theater that prides itself on quality presentations,” said Parrish.

Tickets cost $15 for all shows, with discounts available for large groups, military members and students. Call the box office for more information. Tickets can be purchased online at www.gilberttheater.com. For reservations, call (910) 678-7186 or e-mail the box office at boxoffice@gilberttheater.com. Doors and box office open one hour before start of show, although seating is not guaranteed without reservations.

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