‘The Fantasticks’ offers tale of forbidden love — with a twist

Young lovers from feuding families Luisa (Abby Hines) and Matt (Nick Sweet) find love through the wall portrayed by Chaeyoon Kim in a preview image for the upcoming SUNY Oswego theatre production of “The Fantasticks.” The popular and enduring musical continues its run Oct. 24, 25 and 26 in Tyler Hall’s Waterman Theater.

OSWEGO — “The Fantasticks,” a story about forbidden lovers, incorporating a range of emotions and unexpected twists and turns, continues its run in SUNY Oswego's Waterman Theater for Family and Friends Weekend.

The production's second week will have 7:30 p.m. curtains on Oct. 24, 25 and 26.

The director of the production, Amy Lynn Budd of the college’s theatre faculty, said the show uses reverse psychology to fabricate a feud between the two fathers whose kids happen to be in love. “The play lets audiences experience laughter and heartache — sometimes simultaneously — because it believes in our ability to learn from those mistakes and forgive one another,” Budd said.

The musical has a small number of characters, allowing each student to have a significant role. The plot concerns Matt (Nick Sweet) and Luisa (Abby Hines), who fall in love despite their respective feuding fathers, Hucklebee (Philip Jones) and Bellomy (Damon Fletcher). Schemes are uncovered, complications arise and the story explores the different places life can take a person from falling in love.

“The Fantasticks,” by Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt, has run for more than 50 years in Manhattan and captivated generations of audiences. “The show is so absurd and fantasized that it is hard to keep your eyes off of it,'' said Jones.

“When preparing for this role, I looked at teenagers and their struggle to grow up and form their own individual identities. I feel that Matt's actions throughout the show are motivated by his struggle to be respected and grown up,” said Nick Sweet, a freshman theatre major. 

“My dream is to be on Broadway one day, so this is just a taste of how my life could be doing shows professionally and I absolutely love it. Luisa is always going to hold a special place in my heart because of her childlikeness and pure heart,” said Hines, a dual sophomore theatre and music major.

While the lead characters are experiencing the nature of love and all the struggles that follow, the reverse psychology aspect incorporates that both kids do not have that mother figure in their life to guide them through the rollercoaster of emotions while falling in love, Budd said.

Other cast members include Salvatore Sperrazza as El Gallo, Marc Arricale as Henry and Ryan Pacheco as Mortimer.

Ticket costs are available at a special family and friends weekend rate and discounted for SUNY Oswego students. Tickets are available online at tickets.oswego.edu, at any campus box office or by calling 315-312-3073.

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