Pittsburgh Public Theater

O’Reilly Theater
September 29 — October 30
Various times

The iconic musical that premiered Off-Broadway in 1960 and ran continuously for a staggering 42 years is now making its Pittsburgh Public Theater debut.

Kicking off The Public’s 42nd season with a rousing new production, The Fantasticks runs from September 29 through October 30 at downtown’s O’Reilly Theater.

One of the most widely produced musicals in the world, the witty romantic story—loosely based on Edmond Rostand’s 1894 play The Romancers—chronicles the story of neighboring fathers who trick their children, Luisa and Matt, into falling in love by feigning a feud.

With nods to Shakespeare (think: Romeo and Juliet and A Midsummer Night’s Dream), the show blends energetic vaudeville, memorable music, and imaginative staging.

The Public’s staging of the musical theater phenomenon marks the first time Producing Artistic Director
Ted Pappas has directed the show anywhere. Pappas has assembled a talented group of actors, musicians and designers to help tell the humorous and heartfelt allegorical story—which features a book and lyrics by Tom Jones and music by Harvey Schmidt.

Starring in the title roles are Jamen Nanthakumar (Matt) and Mary Elizabeth Drake (Luisa). Portraying their meddling fathers are Daniel Krell (Bellomy) and Gavan Pamer (Hucklebee). Adding theatricality to the cast will be the memorable characters of the dashing narrator El Gallo (Josh Powell), the mute (Jason Shavers), Mortimer (Tony Bingham), and the old actor Henry (Noble Shropshire).

Led by musical director Douglas Levine, the musical’s ensemble features harpist Marissa Knaub Avon, bassist Justin Bendel and percussionist R.J. Heid. Audiences will be captivated by the show’s classic songs such as “Try to Remember” and “Soon It’s Gonna Rain.”

Buy tickets.

Looking for more events? Check out our 12 Pittsburgh events not to miss in October, Everything you need to know about Pittsburgh concerts in October and 12 great family adventures in Pittsburgh this October feature stories.

Jennifer Baron

Jennifer has worked at the Mattress Factory, Brooklyn Museum of Art and Dahesh Museum of Art and is co-author of Pittsburgh Signs Project: 250 Signs of Western Pennsylvania. She also is co-coordinator...