CGOA presents The Fantasticks
Just over thirteen months since the global pandemic brought an end to live performances, the Columbia Gorge Orchestra Association is poised to present its first new theatrical performance, Tom Jones’ and Harvey Schmidt’s beloved romantic comedy The Fantasticks.
Whimsical, poignant and romantic, The Fantasticks is an allegory that focuses on two young lovers, their meddling parents, and the journey that we all take through adolescent thrills, the growing pains of hurt and betrayal, the highs of passion and the agony of heartbreak.
Holding the world record for being the longest-running off-Broadway musical, The Fantasticks has been charming audiences for decades with its blend of fantasy and truth, and a wistful, memorable score that includes the classic songs “Try to Remember” and “Soon It’s Gonna Rain.” Long-time local residents might recall seeing The Fantasticks at the “old CAST theatre,” in a production directed by Mark Steighner in the late 1990s.
Of course, the pandemic still places restrictions on indoor gatherings and audiences, so CGOA and director Corin Parker will be filming The Fantasticks for pay-per-view streaming over ShowTix4U.com. The production will be filmed on stage at the Columbia Center for the Arts. The $10 ticket price will give patrons the opportunity to watch the show between April 16 and 18, 2021.
Preparing a musical in the midst of a pandemic, and following strict health and safety guidelines, is a challenge but Parker creatively blocked and rehearsed the show “via Zoom, using white boards, Google Docs and pdfs of the set. Our in-person rehearsals found us walking through the already finished blocking and putting the final touches on the songs that just couldn’t happen over Zoom.”
The Fantasticks includes a cast of both familiar and new faces, including David Dye, Emily Vawter, Reuben Betts, Tom Burns, Aiden Tappert, Lexi Irving, Kathleen Morrow, and Abby Rankin. Parker says “I could not have dreamed to to have found a more wonderful group of people to work with. They’ve really risen to the task and done so much work in a short time.” Behind the scenes, Parker has been assisted by Kathy Peldyak (costumes), Susan Sorensen (choreography), Mark Dane (lighting design), Joe Garoutte (sound), and the show will be filmed by John Hardham and Michael Friend of Laughing Deva, LLC.
Tickets for The Fantasticks will go on sale March 22 only from showtix4u.com. A ticket link and additional information is available at www.gorgeorchestra.org