Classic theatre comes to Katy this month with the incredibly entertaining production of The Fantasticks, directed by Elizabeth Mace, at Katy Visual & Performing Arts Center (KVPAC), and performed by Encore Players, Katy's premier community theatre.
The Fantasticks is a 1960 musical with music by Harvey Schmidt and lyrics by Tom Jones. It tells an allegorical story, loosely based on the play The Romancers (Les Romanesques) by Edmond Rostand, concerning two neighboring fathers who trick their children, Luisa and Matt, into falling in love by pretending to feud and erecting a wall between their houses. The fathers then hire traveling actors to stage a mock abduction, so that Matt can heroically seem to save Luisa, settling the supposed feud and securing their fathers' blessings (which the young lovers have really had all along). When the children discover the deception, they reject the arranged love match and separate. Each then gains disillusioning experiences of the real world, seen in parallel fantasy sequences. They return to each other bruised but enlightened, and they renew their vows with more maturity. Elements of the play are also drawn from the story of Pyramus and Thisbe, Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet and A Midsummer Night's Dream, and Donizetti's L'elisir d'amore.
Encore Players is an all-volunteer community theater organization that taps into the acting, vocal, dance and stagecraft talents of adults within the Katy-area. Either on stage or behind the scenes, Encore Players is home to those who love the theater and want to be a part of bringing that magic to life. The eclectic cast of this delightful Encore Players production includes vocal power house, Andrew Garcia, as the bandit El Gallo, serving as puppeteer as he orchestrates every event these characters face; his lovely assistant the Mute, Brittney Thorne, floating in and out of the action helping each character find their way; the young lovers Matt, Mark Redd, and Luisa, Leslie Lenert, delivering a refreshing performance that will leave you spellbound; the scheming fathers Huck, Michael Moses, and Bell, Chris Eldredge, hatching a plan to bring their children together by building a wall to keep them apart; and in stark contrast to the two older actors are Henry, Adrian Collinson, and his sidekick Mortimer, Robert Mace, who bring humor and comedic relief to this masquerade.
The show's original off-Broadway production ran a total of 42 years and 17,162 performances, making it the world's longest-running musical. The poetic book and breezy, inventive score, including such familiar songs as Try to Remember, helped make this show so durable. The Fantasticks has also become a staple of regional and community productions virtually since its premiere, with approximately 250 new productions each year. The musical has played throughout the U.S. and in at least 67 foreign countries.
“The Fantasticks is a musical full of love, loss, and cherishing those we hold most dear,” explains director Elizabeth Mace, a University of Houston Masters Student. “It is a story that everyone can relate to and appreciate our patchwork ensemble full of talent for. Encore Players is proud to have so many gifted actors from the greater Houston area making their Encore Players debuts in this production. This show truly has everything … action, adventure, romance, and drama. It is a must see!”
Come and enjoy an evening of live entertainment right here in Katy with us! The show is scheduled to run September 28 & 29 and October 5 & 6 at 8:00pm and September 30 and October 7 at 2:00pm in the ExhibitForce Main Theatre at KVPAC, 2501 S. Mason Rd #290, Katy, TX 77450. For Katy audience members who seek an evening at the theater, they can look to Encore Players as a source to enjoy the theater in their own home town without the commute or cost involved with heading to one of downtown Houston’s theaters.
KVPAC is a 501c3 non-profit arts education organization serving the community since 2001, and is able to provide innovative and dynamic art programs like Encore Players through generous funding from local business sponsors and ticket sales. Visit our website at www.kvpac.org for more information. Thank you for supporting the Arts in our community.