Sunday, May 10, 2009

"Gag" Reflex

Saturday night I went to see the Reprise production of "The Fantasticks" at the Freud Playhouse at UCLA.

The original off-Broadway production of "The Fantasticks" ran at the Sullivan Street Playhouse from 1960 until 2002. Yes, 42 years -- making it the longest running show in New York history. And I'm happy to report I saw it there shortly before it closed.

Sadly, the magic of that production in a tiny theater is completely lost in this production directed by Jason Alexander. "Costanza's" go-to move is the old-vaudeville laugh (give 'em the old razzle-dazzle) and his ham-handed technique completely snuffs out the charm in this musical.

After seeing this show Saturday night all I can do is "Try to Remember" how delightful it was when I saw it in 1999 or 2000.
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