published Thursday, March 7th, 2013

'The Fantasticks'

Back Alley actors tell an enduriong love story

Central characters in Back Alley Productions’ presentation of “The Fantasticks” are Madison Smith, left, as Luisa, and Matthew Mindeman, right, as Matt.
Central characters in Back Alley Productions’ presentation of “The Fantasticks” are Madison Smith, left, as Luisa, and Matthew Mindeman, right, as Matt.
Photo by Contributed Photo /Chattanooga Times Free Press.
IF YOU GO

What: "The Fantasticks"

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, March 15-16

Where: Walker County Community Theater, 10052 N. Highway 27, Rock Spring, Ga.

Admission: $10 adults, $8 children and seniors (two free tickets for fire and police officials with ID)

Phone: 706-621-2870

Website: www.backalleyproductions.org

For its first musical, Back Alley Productions will present what thousands of theatergoers have given their stamp of approval: America's longest-running musical, "The Fantasticks."

The show's original off-Broadway production ran for 42 years and 17,162 performances. A Broadway revival of the 1960 work, with music by Harvey Schmidt and lyrics by Tom Jones, opened in 2006. Its songs include the standard "Try To Remember."

Back Alley's production, says director Kaylee Smith, will take audiences back to a simpler time, as a boy and girl experience falling in love for the first time.

"When was the first time you fell in love?" Smith asks. "That's what this whole play is about. Two young kids -- Luisa and Matt -- fall in love and grow up together, learning that life is more complicated than it first seems. Even if you've never heard of 'The Fantasticks,' that's a story most people have experienced for themselves by a certain age."

Matt and Luisa's story, of course, is not without dramatic twists. The two must confront their scheming fathers and other complications in their path to true love.

"The production is very funny, very sweet," says Smith.

The musical will play Fridays and Saturday, March 15-16, at the Walker County Community Theater in Rock Spring, Ga.

The cast has been drawn from Catoosa, Walker and Whitfield counties in North Georgia, as well as from Chattanooga, Smith says. The musical director is Colby Jones of Dalton.

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