by Daniel Hathaway
The Fantasticks travels lightly, but it’s traveled a great distance since Harvey Schmidt and Tom Jones adapted Les Romanesques, an 1894 play by Edmond Rostand, into a 1960 hit. The show opened in May of that year and ran off-Broadway for 42 years and over 17,000 performances.
It’s a boy-meets-girl tale simply and poignantly told along the lines of Thornton Wilder’s Our Town (or e.e. cummings’ anyone lived in a pretty how town) by a troupe of traveling actors who begin by unpacking everything they need to tell the story from a trunk.