KCC presents ‘The Fantasticks’

A pair of star-crossed lovers with feuding parents decide that despite their family’s differences, they must be together.

A damsel is in distress and in comes the man of her dreams to rescue her.

Sound familiar?

That’s because love-struck couples have been the subject of many Broadway musicals, but none has had the lasting power of the musical comedy “The Fantasticks.”

“It’s charming. It’s got the whole ‘Romeo and Juliet’ with a modern day twist to it going on,” said actor Ross Martineau, who plays one of the feuding fathers in the show. “It’s not flashy, the fathers are goofy and it’s just a really funny show.

“The Fantasticks” made its debut in May, 1960 and holds the title of longest running musical in history.

It makes it’s Kaua‘i debut at the Kaua‘i Community College Performing Arts Center tomorrow at 7 p.m.

This also marks the first-ever musical put on by KCC. Music department director Greg Shepherd stars in, and directs, the show.

“It’s the first (musical) show that KCC is putting on and I wanted to spearhead the thing,” he said. “Being the head of the music department, I wanted the first one to be of top-notch quality.”

For this show, Shepherd already had his cast of characters in mind.

“I always wanted to play Gallo and I had a couple of people in mind because I knew what each part called for,” he said. “With Kate, I felt that she had the right combination. She’s got a certain look that the part called for, the All-American fresh face.”

Shepherd said he thinks “The Fantasticks” is a show that will appeal to all ages.

“It’s a great way to get kids introduced to musicals. There are no risqué situations, and it goes beyond the traditional love story,” he said.

In the story, the two main characters, Luisa (Kate Saik) and Matt (Bud Soria) are tricked into falling in love with each other by their feuding fathers. Only Luisa’s father (Martineau) and Matt’s father (Dennis McGraw) really aren’t feuding at all. They’re only pretending to dislike each other in order to bring Matt and Luisa together.

To make sure everything goes as planned, the two fathers hire a professional abductor — Gallo (Shepherd) — to kidnap Luisa so that Matt will come to her rescue like the knight in shining armor she thinks he is. Then, as the saying goes, they live happily ever after.

Or at least that’s how it was supposed to end. That’s only the first act. Things get complicated for them in the second.

“It’s basically about how people perceive love,” Soria said. “Matt and Luisa do fall in love, but as they get to know each other, they realize it’s not all the lovie-dovie thing. People get hurt sometimes. (Love’s) a working thing.”

Soria said he thinks the audience will understand and relate to this concept.

“I think people will accept the innocence of it, with the boy and the girl,” he said.

Saik said that in playing Luisa, she found that life isn’t as simple as it seems.

“I feel like that’s refreshing because you see this kind of ‘ride off into the sunset’ kind of deal, and that’s not what happens,” Saik said. “I think (Luisa) represents a lot of young women in this time who grow up with this fantasy of love. You find that it’s not all that easy. You think of reality.”

The cast started rehearsing for the show back in January, but only met once a week for three hours. That didn’t faze Shepherd at all.

“I knew they were all professionals,” Shepherd said. “There was never a time when things went flat. There was always this momentum. This is the most cohesive cast I’ve ever worked with.”

But Martineau said that after all this time, he is ready to put this show on for the public.

“The hardest part for me has been the time. It’s almost like giving birth because of the long gestation period,” he said. “It almost feels like a long run. I’m ready to give birth to this thing.”

The show opens tomorrow and runs till June 4. For more information on the show or for ticket information, call 245-8269.

Want to Go?

What: The Fantasticks

Where: KCC PAC

When: Opens tomorrow at 7 p.m.

Tickets: $12-adv./$15-door/$8-students• Lanaly Cabalo, lifestyle writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 237) or lcabalo@kauaipubco.com.

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