The world’s longest running play, The Fantasticks, is coming to CenterStage for the first time. It is a classic coming of age story featuring a boy and a girl who appear to be in love and their fathers’ plot to make sure they end up together.
The fathers hatch a plan to hire an actor to kidnap The Girl and allow The Boy to rescue her. However, once the sun is shining, the fathers begin to squabble, revealing the plot and causing The Boy and The Girl to split up.
The audience always connects with this intimate show because the characters often break the fourth wall by talking directly to the audience. The CenterStage performance will take the show directly to the audience by adding a thrust to the stage that extends into the first several rows.
“The play is always trying to remind the audience that it is a play, but at the same time has a lot of absolute truths,” says Mera Kathryn Corlett, who plays The Girl in the play. “I love this show because everything is right in front of the audience, there are no breaks.”
Corlett, a recent graduate of Hanover College, is performing at CenterStage for the first time. She says this is a dream role for her. “I have always loved this play. The Girl has a beautiful development from young to maturity during the play. She shows a poetic curiosity for the world and a quirkiness that makes the play interesting.”
The only female in the cast, Corlett is joined onstage by seven men, including CenterStage veteran Kyle Braun, who plays The Boy.
“This is a true ensemble play, there are no leads,” says Braun. “It is more like a really close-knit group of friends who are just putting on a show.” Braun says the cast has grown together very quickly, because everyone has to carry their share of the workload.
The Boy is also the kind of role Braun likes to play. “He is a 20 year old who thinks he knows everything, but in reality he doesn›t know what he wants. In the first act, he gets everything he wants. But in the second act he wants to see what else is out there. He goes out expecting great things, but comes back and realizes what was really important to him was right there all along.”
Many people may not know The Fantasticks, but once they learn about the show, they fall in love with its simple premise and deep truths.
The Fantasticks runs September 8 through September 18. Tickets cost $18 per person. As long as there are tickets available, there will be 20 $10 rush tickets available for weekday and Sunday evening performances. Rush tickets must be purchased in person at the Jewish Community Center on the day of show prior to 5 p.m. For information or ticket reservations, call (502) 459-0660.
[by Ben Goldenberg]