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Theater

A modest staging of enduring musical 'Fantasticks' at Chesapeake Shakespeare Company

A modest staging of enduring musical 'Fantasticks' at Chesapeake Shakespeare Company

Try to remember the first time you encountered "The Fantasticks," the world's longest-running musical. (The original 1960 off-Broadway production ran 42 years; the 2006 New York revival will finally close in June.)

For me, the introduction came through Barbra Streisand, who recorded three songs from the show early in her career. They made me anxious to discover their context. When I finally got the chance, the combination of Tom Jones' poetic book and lyrics and Harvey Schmidt's imaginative music charmed the heck out of me.

The colorful characters; the simple story-telling with references to Shakespeare and others; the juxtapositions of love and illusion, adventure...

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