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SAT's 'Fantasticks' musical lives up to the challenge

Sandy Actors' finish to the season is a must see


For the closing of the season, Doug Holtry got the chance to be part of a first for Sandy’s small theater company by directing a musical. Despite the issues that had to be overcome to produce a musical in a small community theater, Sandy Actors Theatre rose to the challenge.

On May 31 Sandy Actors Theatre staged its second night of the company’s first musical, Tom Jones’ “The Fantasticks.”

The musical featured two acts and more than 14 songs. Pianist Mary Sutton played the music for each song.

For three of the eight cast members, this performance was their first with Sandy Actors Theatre: Seth Rue as El Gallo, Madeleine Delaplane as Luisa and Aidan Nolan as Matt.

The three actors were an asset to the company’s first musical. Their trained voices were brought great quality to the music of the play, and their extreme commitment to the roles made the play believable, and through that, quite enjoyable. by: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO: MICHAEL HENLEY, CONTEMPORARY IMAGES - Delaplane and Nolan with Henry and Mortimer played by Geroge Farquhar and Joni Tabler.

“The Fantasticks” follows the story of a boy and girl in love and the parents who are tricking them into being together.

Through its abstract blocking and absurd exaggeration, the play keeps the audience laughing.

As a frequent viewer of musicals, to see that the orchestra consisted of simply a piano, I was a little worried it would put too much pressure on the actors’ voices. I was pleasantly surprised that each cast member was perfectly capable of stepping up to the challenge, and Sutton’s accompaniment was clean and simple, adding to the feel of the play.

All the actors played their parts wonderfully. Even those actors who played parts that could be seen as minor controlled the stage during their appearances and made each character complex and enjoyable. by: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO: MICHAEL HENLEY, CONTEMPORARY IMAGES - The cast poses for the happy ending to act one.

As George Farquhar’s character, Henry, the old actor, said to Mortimer, his assistant actor who handles the dying, “There are no small actors, only small parts.” The skills and commitment of the actors in “The Fantasticks” showed that they in no way portrayed small parts.

The play, although light, airy and comedic throughout the first act, takes a dark turn after intermission.

Although it could be a reflection on the way life can play out, not always staying as innocent as played out during adolescence, the quick change in tone of the play can be a little hard to take in.

Although I enjoyed the first act of the play much more than the second act (it did get better toward the end) Sandy Actors Theatre’s first musical and last play of the season is a must see.

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