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'The Fantasticks' to close after 55 years, over 20,000 performances

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After 55 years, producers announced that the long-running Off Broadway musical The Fantasticks will close on Sunday, May 3rd—coinciding with the anniversary of the show’s opening in 1960.

It’s the second closing for the record-breaking, low-cost production, which will have played 20,672 performances in two separate New York City runs by the time the last curtain falls. The show ran for 42 years at the Sullivan Street Playhouse in Greenwich Village, playing 17,162 performances between 1960 and 2002. Four years later, the revived production opened at the Jerry Orbach Theater in the Snapple Theater Center in Times Square, where it will have played 3,510 performances.

Featuring music by Harvey Schmidt and a book, lyrics, and direction by Tom Jones, The Fantasticks is a Romeo and Juliet-riffing love story between neighbors Matt and Luisa, who are tricked into falling in love by their fathers. The show earned Tony Honors for Excellence in 1992, and the score is beloved in the theater circuit, particularly the famous opening number “Try to Remember” and the dreamy “Soon It’s Gonna Rain.”

The show boasts the title of longest-running Off Broadway musical, with The Phantom of the Opera currently reigning as the longest-running Broadway show (just over 11,000 performances) and the London production of Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap dominating as the world’s longest-running show, clocking over 25,000 performances.

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