Gustie Team of Leitzman & Shumaker Produce “The Fantasticks”

Posted on August 1st, 2011 by

Gusties Karla Leitzman ’13 and Kari (Moody) Shumaker ’97 team up as director and music director to produce the Harvey Schmidt and Tom Jones’ musical The Fantasticks for the Paynesville (MN) Community Theatre, August 3 – 7, at the Paynesville High School Auditorium. Performances begin at 7:30 p.m. on August 3, 4 & 6 and 2:00 p.m. on August 7. Tickets are available at the door or online at www.showtix4u.com.

Leitzman ’13, a theatre major from St. Joseph, Minn., was asked to fill the director’s role for the show while the community theatre’s director was on leave for the summer. Once rehearsals began, she discovered the Gustavus connection with music director Kari Shumaker, a self-employed musician and teacher in the Paynesville area. Shumaker, a 1997 graduate with majors in music and religion, is no stranger to the theatre stage. While at Gustavus, she played piano and helped with music direction for the musicals staged in Anderson Theatre.

The Fantasticks opened in New York in 1960 and went on to become the longest-running musical in history with more than 17,000 performances over 42 years. For most lovers of musical theatre, it’s difficult to remember a time when “Try to Remember” wasn’t a part of the standard musical repertoire. The list of songs includes “Soon It’s Gonna Rain,” “Much More,” “Happy Ending,” and “They Were You.” The story, based on Edmond Rostand’s The Romancers, is a twist on the traditional & familiar Romeo & Juliet theme of unreachable love.

In The Fantasticks, the fathers want their teenage children to fall in love each other and, in order to make that happen, conspire to construct a series of obstacles for their children to overcome in order to “win” the fathers’ support for their love. When the children discover the deception, they reject their fathers’ attempts, break up and run off to experience the larger world. When they return to each other’s arms, more mature but a bit battered by their adventures in the real world, they discover that all the good things they were searching for in life, “They Were You.”

The Paynesville Community Theatre production of Harvey Schmidt and Tom Jones’ musical The Fantasticks, directed by Karla Leitzman ’13 with music direction by Kari Moody Shumaker ’97, runs August 3 – 7, at the Paynesville High School Auditorium. Performances begin at 7:30 p.m. on August 3, 4 & 6 and 2:00 p.m. on August 7. Tickets are available at the door or online at www.showtix4u.com.

 

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