"This is the story that has been told a million times, that you have never heard before."
In 1894, a French poet by the name of Edmond Rostand wrote the romantic comedy, Les Romanesques. Nearly 70 years later, it was rewritten and adapted into the 1960s musical, The Fantasticks. For over 100 years, this story has been told and retold, but never quite like this...
Known as the longest running musical in history, The Fantasticks is a simple romantic comedy crafted with captivating music and whimsy. Through the creative genius of Director Carl Beck and Costume Designer Georgiann Regan comes a steampunk-inspired adaptation that will delight your senses and leave you completely fulfilled.
To help define 'steampunk,' Regan said, "It's retro-futurism. It's Victorian in style but punk in attitude." Steampunk, in many ways, is free to interpret, but it is known to have a general Victorian style that meshes with the 19th Century industrial modernism. "Cool," as Regan put it, is the overall consensus about this show. Taking techniques used from other shows, Regan and her team have created fabric for costumes by layering pieces of modern fabric and vintage fabric from the Victorian era.
"Another word that I use when I describe [steampunk] is ‘deconstruction,’" Regan said, while showing a piece she had deconstructed and put back together from the collar of a man's shirt. "It started more as a literary movement. Science-fiction writers were intrigued with Jules Verne and H.G. Wells," Regan said. According to research, science-fiction author, K.W. Jeter coined the term steampunk while trying to generalize the collective works of several 1980s science-fiction writers. As the style evolved throughout the decade, the fashion quickly became the passion. Regan also added, that according to certain steampunk fundamentalists, it has to employ an element of steam in order to be considered steampunk.
"It's not an intrusive concept. It seems like the allegoric-quality can blend with the fantasy, giving it a quasi-period feel," Beck said. "Making for a stronger statement than [The Fantasticks] usually gets." Beck added that the story is not being re-written or changed in any way. Outside of the costumes, set and props, this show is, in its entirety, the original.
"It's classical simplicity. It's not a contemporary character tale. It's about a boy who is overly in love with a girl. [Their] father's are trying to keep them together by pulling them apart," Beck said. Steampunk seems to lend itself to this story by finding beauty among the broken pieces.
The OCP production of The Fantasticks allows for an experimental collective that provides an unparalleled experience. If you are revisiting this show or seeing it for the first time, it guarantees entertainment and surprise.
The Fantasticks runs Feb. 10-March 18, Thursday–Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2:00 p.m. in the Howard Drew Theatre. Tickets are $40 (adults) and $24 (students). Groups of 15 or more are $29 (adults) or $18 (students). For tickets, visit the Box Office, call (402) 553-0800 or click here.
Article by Chad Cunningham