Victorian Players to stage first musical

Staff report


The Victorian Players Theatre is preparing to stage its first musical.

“The Fantasticks,” the longest-running musical in the world, will open at the theater Friday and run through May 19.

Written by Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt, “The Fantasticks” opened at the Sullivan Street Playhouse in New York on May 3, 1960, and closed in 2002. The Victorian Players’ production will open on the 53rd anniversary of the original opening.

J.E.Ballantyne Jr., managing director of the Victorian, said that interest has been high for the production. “We began getting emails and calls in January asking when tickets would be available,” he said.

It was the late Marilyn Higgins, former Victorian managing director, who first expressed an interest in doing the show. She and Ballantyne agreed that it would be perfect for the intimate venue.

Sarah Puhalla of Sharon, Pa., and Nathan Pecchia of Canfield star in the play as the young couple. Their fathers will be played by Brian Lee and Tom Gent. Tom Kusiowski, who just appeared at the Victorian in “Below the Surface,” will play El Gallo, with Vinnie Dragos playing the Mute, Ballantyne playing Henry the Old Actor, and Ed Vostand as Mortimer. Ballantyne is directing the show, with Ed Phillips serving as musical director. Two musicians will remain on stage throughout the production, said Ballantyne.

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