12/20/2004 - "The Fantasticks" at the Hackensack Cultural Arts Center


No need to “try to remember” the longest-running musical in history. It’s “The Fantasticks,” by Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt. This musical fable, with a score that includes the classic “Try to Remember,” closed in 2002 after a nearly 42-year run. It can now be seen in a Teaneck New Theatre (TNT) production directed by Felicia Lipchik, musical direction by Judy Stanton. Performances are Friday and Saturday, Jan.14, 15, 21, 22, 28 and 29 at 8:00 p.m., and Sunday, Jan.16, 23 and 30 at 3:00 p.m., at the Hackensack Cultural Arts Center, 39 Broadway, Hackensack. 

Tickets for “The Fantasticks” are $15, $12 for students and seniors, and $10 per ticket for a block of ten or more. For reservations and information call TNT at (201) 692-0200 or Hackensack Cultural Arts Center at (201) 656-8042. If available, tickets can be purchased at the door prior to performance.

The Fantasticks” tells the tale of a boy, a girl, a bandit and a wall. Added to the mix are two fathers who, believing they understand child psychology, build a wall between their properties and create a feud to ensure that their offspring fall in love. These enterprising dads even hire a bandit to provide an abduction. They achieve their goal until “real life” intrudes. Included in the score are “It Depends on What you Pay,” “Soon It’s Gonna Rain,” “Plant a Radish” and the beautiful ballad “They Were You.”

“Playing the Narrator who doubles as the bandit El Gallo is Ivan Cardona of Haledon. Ivan has been seen in such shows as “Jekyll & Hyde (Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde), “Evita” (Che), “West Side Story” (Bernardo), “1776” (Edward Rutledge) and the musical revue “Smokey Joe’s Café.”

Montvale resident Mandy Feiler is Luisa, the impressionable girl torn between the boy and the bandit. Mandy’s impressive credits include “The Music Man” (Marian), “Master Class” (Sophie), “South Pacific” (Nellie), “Annie Get Your Gun” (Annie), “Cosi Fan Tutte” (Despina) and “Die Fledermaus” (Adele). She will be featured on "Coming Home" (Brave Records), a folk music album to be released this Spring.

Michael Campbell of Cliffside Park plays Matt, the young man whose love for Luisa is at odds with his desire to see the world. Michael has appeared in “A Class Act” (Ed Kleban), “Little Shop of Horrors” (Seymour) and “Singin’ in the Rain” (Cosmo Brown), and as A-Rab in “West Side Story” at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center.

Portraying Luisa’s well-meaning dad Bellomy is Harry Bates, a New Milford resident. Harry has been seen in numerous shows with Bergen County Players (most recently “The Most Happy Fella.”), and at TNT in  “12 Angry Jurors,” “Fanny’s First Play,” “The Girl on the Via Flaminia” and “Playboy of the Western World.”

Manhattan resident Steve Fireman plays Hucklebee, Matt’s father and Bellomy’s partner in plotting their children’s happiness. Steve appeared with the Brooklyn Heights Players in “Guys and Dolls,” in “Hello, Dolly” with Jean Stapleton, and in “How to Succeed …” and “Pippin.” He has performed his cabaret act at Don’t Tell Mama in New York.

Montclair’s Pat Ceasar is speechless as The Mute, but got to use her voice in the independent film “Bear Women.” She was also featured in the film “Flannel Pajamas” and appeared off-Broadway in “Andy & Edie.” Pat played Betty the biker in the Charlize Theron starrer “Monster,” and was seen on TV's “America’s Most Wanted.”

Warren Katzke of Passaic Park appears as Henry. Warren trod the boards in such shows as “A Thurber Carnival,” “Threepenny Opera,” “Much Ado About Nothing,” “Darkness at Noon,” “Enter Laughing,” “Grand Hotel,” “The Music Man” and “Mame.”

Mortimer is played by Ken Coughlin of Brooklyn, N.Y. Ken recently was onstage as Lud in “Chepachet,” a role he’ll reprise in February. He has also appeared in such shows as “Undefeated,” “Hired Gun,” “Winter Love,” “Rumours,” “Dancing at Lughnasa,”  “Henry VI” (all three parts) and “Guys and Dolls.”

Hoboken resident Felicia Lipchik is making her TNT directing debut. Felicia served as writers' assistant for “The Sopranos,” wrote articles for the show’s web site, and contributed to books on the series. She was resident costume designer at Hedgerow Theatre in Rose Valley, Pa., assistant director for “Oleanna” and director of “Straight For a Dollar” at Walnut Street Theatre's Studio 3.


Coming from TNT in May: the psychological murder mystery “Night Watch.”