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If there is truly tradition to be found among the great theatres both on and off Broadway then certainly the Sullivan Street Playhouse and its long running production of The Fantasticks rates as one of the most celebrated of New York theatrical traditions Maintaining its place as the longest running production Off Broadway The Fantasticks remains an enchanting and insightful tale of both young love and bitter disillusionment It also reminds one in this age of spectacle and the mega-musical how powerful and truly inspiring theatre itself can be Clearly one of the great strengths of this production and a large part of its appeal for audiences over the last four decades lies in the fact that both the story and the style of presentation compliment each other so completely Here we find the non-essentials are stripped away and we are left to rely simply on the imagination of both the audience and the performers to create a magical eveningThe story of The Fantasticks written by Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt and also based upon Edmond Rostands play Les Romanesques concerns itself with the pairing of two young lovers appropriately enough the Boy and the Girl As their story begins to unfold as told to us by the Narrator El Gallo we quickly come to recognize both the Boy and Girl as specific characters with specific concerns but at the same time we see them as every boy and girl that have ever fallen in love We see the Boys unwavering devotion and the Girls romantic idealism and even though their fathers have built a wall between them the zealous young lovers will let nothing stand in the way of their passion Just as the story might begin to fall into predictability we discover the Fathers have actually contrived to build this wall between their children for the sole purpose of bringing them together as opposed to keeping them apart In a very humorous but
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