The Fantasticks | Blue Theatre | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

The Fantasticks Free The Short List (Theater) Image Closing (Theater and Galleries)

When: Fridays-Sundays. Continues through March 26 2017

Quest Theatre Ensemble's imaginative, energetic rendition of Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt's classic 1960 musical emphasizes broad comedy and audience interaction. Director Kent Joseph's staging thus avoids the cloying sentimentality that can undermine this tale of a young couple who find true love only after their romantic illusions have been shattered by hard experience. But the production also fails to convey this delicate work's wry undertones of melancholy and irony. And Jones and Schmidt's brilliant, musically diverse score deserves better than keyboardist Sara Cate Langham's heavy-handed and often sloppy musical direction. Still, the show is a lot of fun (especially in the first act) and, given Quest's free-admission policy, decent entertainment. —Albert Williams


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