Bellarine Performing ‘The Fantasticks’ at STAC This Weekend

Dec 05, 2019


The Bellarine Theatre Company, in conjunction with the Stafford Township Arts Center, will present the longest-running musical in world history, “The Fantasticks,” at 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 6 and 7, and at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 8 at the STAC in Manahawkin.

Longest-running doesn’t do the show justice. It opened in a small Off-Broadway Greenwich Village theater starring the one-and-only Jerry Orbach (later to become a Broadway legend who much of the public knows from his portrayal of Lennie Briscoe on TV's “Law & Order”) on May 3, 1960 and ran until Jan. 13, 2002, an amazing 17,162 performances.

An Off-Broadway revival opened on Aug. 23 and had a good run itself, not closing until June 4, 2017, racking up 4,390 performances. Yet another Off-Broadway revival is currently playing in New York. And “The Fantasticks” has become a popular high school and community theater show thanks to its simple sets and small cast.

Why is the show such a hit? Well, for one thing it opens with a truly legendary song, “Try to Remember,” composed in one afternoon by Harvey Schmidt, with lyrics by Tom Jones.

Then the show follows up with a classic tale. Two young neighbors, a boy (Alex Henderson) and a girl (Nadia Jewel Vito), fall in love despite the fact that their fathers (Alex Dubinsky and Anthony Scarpone) are trying to keep them apart. Actually, the dads are trying to get their children to become a couple, but are acting like they don't want them to get together because they know if parents tell teens “no” the kids will almost automatically say “yes.”

Now, that is enough of a basis for a story line. But when a narrator, El Gallo (Liam James McGettigan) adds moonlight and magic to the mix, “The Fantasticks” becomes a rather fantastical allegory. Jones’ book is poetic and breezy, Schmidt’s music is inventive, and when all the pieces fall together, well, the show’s record speaks for itself.

Tickets for the Bellarine/STAC production are $18 for adults, $15 for seniors aged 60 and older and $10 for children 12 years of age and younger. They may be purchased online at, by phone at 609-489-8600, or at the door.  R.M.



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