Langley’s Charlene Crawford is climbing into the director’s chair for Gallery 7’s upcoming production of The Fantasticks — a timeless story of young love, innocence, and self-discovery.
The Abbotsford theatre company concludes its 2011-12 theatre season with a musical sensation by Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt, considered the longest running musical in theatre history.
“I’m so thrilled to see that such an incredibly talented group of theatre artists, both on and off the stage, has been assembled to bring this production to life,” said the theatre’s executive artistic director, Ken Hildebrandt.
“I think audiences will really delight in the charming music, the amazing singing and the humorous — if not slightly bizarre — storyline. There’s a reason this play has been running off-Broadway for over 50 years — it’s a perfect pre-summer treat.”
Set on a simple platform suggesting a timeless period and nameless location, a story of love plays out as young sweethearts enjoy innocent bliss and romance. When they discover their courtship is the result of the manipulations of their two fathers, the seeds of rebellion are sown and the temptations of the world threaten to pull them apart.
An entertaining and beautifully written story, The Fantasticks features such famous songs as Try to Remember and Soon It’s Gonna Rain.
Gallery 7 Theatre’s production will feature a plethora of talented musical theatre artists from across the Fraser Valley, including Aldergrove actor Emily Talma, who performs the role of Louisa — one of the young lovers whose dreams are in danger of being dashed. Morgan Cox plays her sweetheart, Matt.
Joining Talma and Cox on stage as the roguish narrator, El Gallo, is Arne Larsen, who has appeared in numerous musicals including The Great American Trailer Park Musical, Annie, The Pirates of Penzance and Fiddler on the Roof.
Playing the roles of the conniving yet loving fathers are Michael McIntyre (Bellomy) and Eldon Letkeman (Hucklebee).
The travelling actor, Henry, whose star faded before it rose, is being played by Gallery 7 regular, Shelley Picard.The role of her trusting side-kick is performed by newcomer, Jonathan Matheson, and Mark Klausen takes on the role of the mute.
While the Fantasticks is Crawford’s first project in the director’s chair for Gallery 7 Theatre, she can often be found working behind the scenes as the company’s resident stage manager. Crawford has also appeared on stage in productions of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and Chickens.
The Fantasticks runs June 8 and 9, 14 to 16 and 21 to 23 at 7:30 p.m., with additional discounted matinees on June 9 and 16 at 2 p.m. at the MEI Auditorium, 4081 Clearbrook Rd., Abbotsford.
Tickets for evening performances are $20 adults; $18 seniors (65+) and students; $17 groups of 10 or more and $12, children 12 and under.
Tickets for matinee performances are $15 general and $12 children 12 and under.
They can be purchased at the House of James, 2743 Emerson St., Abbotsford, or by calling 604-852-3701 or toll free at 1-800-665-8828. For details visit www.gallery7theatre.com.