Quintessence Musical Theatre Project

The Fantasticks

Book and lyrics by Tom Jones
Music by Harvey Schmidt

Venue: Waterfront Theatre, Granville Island
Dates: 16 - 31 July 2004

Reviewer: Jane Penistan

 

 

Directors Andy Toth and David Adams Musical director Scott Knight Choreographer Dana Kosalko-Harris Costume design Christina Sinosich Set design and construction Lance Cardinal and Cardinal Production and Design Lighting design Jonathan Ryder Dance Captain Donya Metzger Stage manager  Angela Beaulieu

 

 

 


This must be one of the best known and most performed musicals. It is certainly one of the most musical. Once reminded to "Try to remember ", the tune haunts you for days. This magic fable, fairy story, call it what you will, is presented with great charm, and musicality, by Quintessence at the Waterfront Theatre.

This is a beautifully dressed, presented and sung show. The offstage four-man band both supports the actors and provides the out of this world atmosphere. The instrumentalists are Scott Knight, Scott Hughes, Jennifer Orme and Cameron Hood. The simple set with its bare framework and white curtains retains the feeling of a travelling show's transitoriness.

Donya Metzger is the mute black and white fantastic, who sets the scenes and moves the properties, with balletic grace and poise. Just to watch her performance alone is enough for an evening's entertainment, but this is only a part of this enchanting presentation.

Steve Maddock, as El Gallo, opens the performance with the beautiful "Try to remember the days of September" with the echoing "Follow, follow" from the soprano Luisa (Lauren Bowler), in the audience. El Gallo is the narrator and deus ex machina of the plot. He has a powerful and melodious voice which he uses to great effect. Once on stage, Luisa looks the pretty, innocent sixteen year old, in her full-skirted pastel flowery dress, but she sings with the maturity and poise of a well trained, talented performer.

This is also true of her boyfriend, Matt, a well voiced, lyrical tenor, Scott Perrie. The fathers of these two apparently star crossed lovers are Bellomy and Huckleberry, sung by Vince Metcalfe and Raimund Stamm, respectively. These two gardeners can only agree on one point. That is, to see their children happily united, and in order to do so, set a wall between their gardens. Sounds familiar?


 

This is also true of her boyfriend, Matt, a well voiced, lyrical tenor, Scott Perrie. The fathers of these two apparently star crossed lovers are Bellomy and Huckleberry, sung by Vince Metcalfe and Raimund Stamm, respectively. These two gardeners can only agree on one point. That is, to see their children happily united, and in order to do so, set a wall between their gardens. Sounds familiar?

The apparently crusty old dads are a scheming pair of card playing, loving parents.

This entire company dances with great verve, dexterity and precision. So professional are they that the technique disappears into the enjoyment of the dances.

Providing the comic villains of the show are Henry and Mortimer, in the persons of William Samples and Kevin Williamson. They first appear from a sea chest as pirates capturing the innocent Luisa for the hero Matt to rescue. Later they are the torturers and slave drivers of the prodigal son, Matt, on his travels to see the world. These two bumbling evil doers provide much well timed, music hall, knockabout humour. The stage fights are particularly well managed and very funny.

Of course, after the trials and tribulations of young and old, all is resolved into the second happy ending, and everyone goes home remembering.

This is an enchanting presentation of a delightful, intimate musical comedy. It will appeal to young and old and is ideal summer theatre. It is one of the highlights of this incredible summer in Vancouver.

The Fantasticks runs at The Waterfront Theatre, Granville Island, July 16 - 31, 2004, at 8.00 p.m. Tuesday - Sunday, with 2.00 p.m. matinee on Saturday. For more information, tickets and reservations call the Box Office at the Waterfront Theatre. 604-257-0366.

2004, Jane Penistan



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