The Fantasticks at NTC is Fantastic!
Go see this hit!
Novato Theater Company’s hilarious and sweet production of The Fantasticks by Harvey Schmidt and Tom Jones – is worth the price of admission and your time.
Kudos to Director Larry Williams, who masterfully brought together the Company and the Production Staff, while Music Director David Shepard did the same with the great music, through his accompaniment and with the perfect touch of Bryce Williams, Percussionist. Songs you may recognize include, Try to Remember and Soon it’s Gonna Rain. This musical showcases wonderful singing and choreography (by Marilyn Izdebski), dancing, prancing, jumping and capturing the hearts of the entire House judging by repeated applause throughout the performance.
This is a fine example of commedia dell’arte – a wonderful blend of farce and reality, the basic plot being: boy meets girl; boy loses girl; and boy wins girl, again. At the risk of saying, “Wonderful!” too many times, let’s just say it here: This production of The Fantasticks is wonderful theater!
Phillip Percy Williams is superb in the leading role as El Gallo, the tall and strong storyteller/narrator, and bandit. As a very good vocalist and actor with many credits to his name, he is the right talent for this role. Nicole Thordsen is beautiful and a very good vocalist, performing Luisa with exactly the right innocence and excitement about being in love with Matt (by Cordell Wesselink, whose vocals and performance are very good).
The Fantasticks would not be the delight it truly is, without the irreplaceable performances of Javier Alarcon (as Hucklebee, Matt’s father), Jim Fye (Bellomy, Luisa’s father), Michael Walraven (hilarious Henry, fantasy figure), John Griffin (the bigger-than-life, clumsy, clownish Mortimer), and the superb Il Muto (Nick Moore).
Costume Designer, Janice Deneau, did superb reality-based and head-to-toe fantasy-based costuming. The clever minimal set (designed and built by Michael Walraven) with steps and blocks, scarves, staging curtain, and on-stage hidden entry box for characters, all perfectly designed for keeping the focus on the action, the music, and character interaction. The show could not go on without the excellent Sound Design by Sound Logic, Inc. and Sound Mixer, Simon Eves. The Lighting Designer (Frank Sarubbi) performed his lighting effects, as if he were one of the actors, along with Spot Operators Lauren Oty, Hunter Ward, and Elise Terry — just one of many funny bits was with the lighting (and we don’t want to spoil the fun by telling all).
The following unsung heroes get plaudits for their work, as well: Stage Manager, Brigid Tillotson; Properties, Maureen Scheuenstuhl; Graphic Designer, Mark Shepard; Publicity, Gary Carr, Rising Moon Marketing; Program, Mark Clark; Production Photographer, Fred Deneau
The Fantasticks began its run at the Novato Theater Company April 5th, and will continue through the Matinee performance, April 29th, 2018. Regular performances of The Fantasticks are scheduled for Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 p.m., and Sunday Matinees at 2:00 p.m. For tickets to The Fantasticks order online at www.NovatoTheaterCompany.org (print out your ticket from the confirmation email). If you’re unable to print out your ticket, your name will be on a list at the Box Office on your scheduled date at your scheduled time. The Box Office opens at 7:00 p.m. on Friday and Saturday; and at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday.
By Elle Alexa Simon
Student of Flora Lynn Isaacson, Critic
Coming up next at NTC will be Five Tellers Dancing in the Rain by Mark Dunn from May 24 through June 10, 2018, Directed by Anna Smith.