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Disarming Musical

‘The Fantasticks’ comes to the Workhouse.

With over 20,000 performances in New York City since it opened in 1960 and countless numbers of regional, community and school-based productions, the melodic and oh, so mellow musical, "The Fantasticks" is coming to the Workhouse.

The production is by Northern Virginia's Pandemonium Theatrical Productions. Pandemonium has made the Workhouse its theatrical home for the past year. It is under the artistic direction of Mary Omohundro (Springfield) and Jeff Davis.

"The Fantasticks" is a funny, romantic musical about two neighboring families separated by a wall; a boy, a girl, two fathers. The narrator, El Gallo, asks the audience to use their imagination and follow him into a world of moonlight and magic. The boy and the girl fall in love, become disillusioned, grow apart, but find their way back to love's renewal after realizing that "without a hurt, the heart is hollow."

Where and When

"The Fantasticks" at the Workhouse, Theatre #3, 9518 Workhouse Way, Lorton. Performances April 25-May 31. Fridays & Saturday at 8 p.m. Tickets $15. Call Workhouse Arts Center at 703-584-2900 or visit www.workhousearts.org. Note: A la carte cash bar available in venue.

"The Fantasticks" is surrounded by a timeless score. Many will easily remember the songs since they grew up humming "Try to Remember" and later singing "Plant a Radish" to their children and grandchildren.

"We love the simplicity of the story," said Omohundro. "Falling in love, having life lead you in different adventurous directions, only to find that your true love was with you all along is a universal and always a current theme that everyone can identify with. This theme along with the beautiful music makes for a memorable evening of theatre for all ages," said Davis.

Both Jonathan Litalien and Mary Anne Furey described their roles as "dreamer roles." Litalein plays Matt, a lovesick 19- year-old boy, undone by his first love, Luisa. "As much as he thinks he is not, he is still an impressionable young man wanting to find out what the world has in store."

Furey plays Luisa. "She’s a little crazy, wants to be special, and wants to have adventure. Everything about her is over the top and dramatic. She wants to experience all of life before she is too old."

John Hollinger is Louisa's father. He has a long relationship with "The Fantasticks." He performed the role of Matt as a student in the mid 1970s. Hollinger is now a father with his own daughter. He called "The Fantasticks" a "treat...there is a beautiful simplicity about it."

Kathleen McCormack, "The Mute," invited audiences to the show describing the music as "incredibly beautiful and witty and makes you want to fall in love."