The Fantasticks

The Fantasticks

Written by Tome Jones

Music by Harvey Schmidt

Starring Tracy White, Michael Horn, and Rick Laney

Moonlight Players, Clermont

In the cartoon world of 40 years ago, a Matt (Horn) and a Luisa (White) fall hopelessly in love. Mom and Dad built a wall, bringing them together by saying “no, you can’t see that person.” Now, how to get them married without reveling the setup? Why, let’s stage a kidnapping — that’s always fun! EmmCee and wandering vagabond El Gallo (Laney) does the deed with two sidekicks, Henry (Norm Posner) and Mortimer (Greg Powers), in a pretty cool strobe light sword fight. Happy ending? Not so fast — there’s 5 more songs and a reprise. Matt heads off to find adventure and a black eye, and Luisa falls for El Gallo, who sings a ballad with her while standing atop a stage ladder. They do that in this sort of show, but it brings Matt back, El Gallo is 86’d , and NOW we have a happy ending. Okie Dokie.

In front of the enthusiastic crowd, Horn and White stand out. Horn has a beautiful and accurate voice, and with a little more vocal power, he will travel far. White’s voice is a bit more problematic, but her dancing and sheer stage presence show great promise as well. Laney’s singing ran the gamut, with a weak opening “Try to Remember,” but a brilliant duet with Matt “I Can See It.” Mortimer and Henry provided a strong center, with their overwrought death scenes and butcher Shakespearean quotes.

Fanatasticks came together from the devoted efforts of enthusiasts, working with the material and resources at hand. Minimal sets put unused actors facing the back wall until needed, and the effect is musical puppet show, with the waiflike Mute (Jennifer Bushwitz) directing the action from the sideline and sprinkling just the right sort of confetti at just the right time.

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