PHOTO CALL: A First Look at New Steampunk-Inspired Fantasticks National Tour

By Matthew Blank
17 Jan 2014 

A national tour of the record-breaking musical The Fantasticks — re-envisioned as a steampunk-inspired production — kicks off Jan. 17 at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center in Rapid City, SD.

The 15-week, 60-city tour — produced by the Nebraska Theatre Caravan out of Omaha, NE — continues through April 27 in Cullowhee, NC, on the campus of Western Carolina University.

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Andrew Tebo, Jon McDonald, Chad Bradford and Dan Chevalier

Photo by Christian Robertson

Director Carl Beck, costume designer Georgiann Regan and scenic designer Jim Othuse helm the steampunk-inspired production, which promises "to provide an unparalleled experience, whether you are revisiting this show or seeing it for the first time."

Of the steampunk concept, Beck said in a statement, "It's not an intrusive concept. It seems like the allegoric-quality can blend with the fantasy, giving it a quasi-period feel and making for a stronger statement than [The Fantasticks] usually gets."

The story — by Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt — is not being re-written or changed, and the show remains true to its original incarnation, aside from the steampunk-style costumes, set and props.

"It's classical simplicity," added Beck. "It's not a contemporary character tale. It's about a boy who is overly in love with a girl whose fathers are trying to keep them together by pulling them apart. Steampunk seems to lend itself to this story by finding beauty among the broken pieces."

The cast includes Chad Bradford as El Gallo, Jennifer Tritz as Luisa, Peter O'Neal as Matt, Andrew Tebo as Hucklebee, Jon McDonald as Bellomy, Eric Bricking as Henry, Alejandro Gutierrez as Mortimer and Dan Chevalier as The Mute. Steven Zumbrun is the tour's musical director and accompanist.

The complete tour itinerary follows:

1/17-1/18: Rushmore Plaza Civic Center in Rapid City, SD
1/19: Alberta Bair in Billings, MT
1/21: Big Bend Community College in Moses Lake, WA
1/23: Admiral Theatre in Bremerton, WA
1/24: Columbia Theatre in Longview, WA
1/25: Washington State University in Pullman, WA
1/26: Craterian Performances in Medford, OR
1/30: Norfolk Arts Center in Norfolk, NE
1/31: Cottey College in Nevada, MO
2/1: Hutchinson Fox Theatre in Hutchinson, KS
2/4: George Daily Auditorium in Oskaloosa, IA
2/5: Plainview Arts Council in Plainview, NE
2/6: SAMI Center in Spirit Lake, IA
2/7: Merryman Center in Kearney, NE
2/8: Midwest Theatre in Scottsbluff, NE
2/9: Cam-Plex Heritage Center in Gillette, WY
2/12: New Mexico Tech in Socorro, NM
2/13: Clovis Community College in Clovis, NM
2/14: Spencer Theatre in Alto, NM
2/15: Lubbock Civic Center in Lubbock, TX
2/18: Northwest Oklahoma State in Alva, OK
2/20-2/23: Eisemann Center in Richardson, TX
2/25: Ritz Theatre in Greenville, AL
2/27: Hammons Hall in Springfield, MO
2/28: Leach Theatre in Rolla, MO
3/1: Sondheim Center in Fairfield, IA
3/2: Touhill Performing Arts Center in St. Louis, MO
3/4: Vada Sheid Center in Mountain Home, AR
3/5: Doudna Fine Arts Center in Charleston, IL
3/6: Potter Center in Jackson, MI
3/7: Genessee Theatre in Waukegan, IL
3/8: Prairie Center for the Arts in Schaumburg, IL
3/9: Rialto Theatre in Joliet, IL
3/10: Culver Academies in Culver, IN
3/13: Warsaw Performing Arts Center in Warsaw, IN
3/14: Miller Auditorium in Kalamazoo, MI
3/15: Fermilab Arts Series in Batavia, IL
3/16: Charlotte Performing Arts Center in Charlotte, MI
3/18: Univ. of North Carolina in Wilmington, NC
3/19: Johnston Community College in Smithfield, NC
3/20: Brunswick Community College in Brunswick, NC
3/21: Cary Arts Center in Cary, NC
3/22: Wingate University – Batte Center in Wingate, NC
3/25: Butler County Community College in Butler, PA
3/26: Live at Rose Lehrman in Harrisburg, PA
3/28: Miller Center in Reading, PA
3/29: Lackawanna College in Scranton, PA
3/30: Community Arts Center in Williamsport, PA
4/3: North Florida Community College in Madison, FL
4/4: Thrasher-Horne Center in Orange Park, FL
4/5: Niswonger Performing Arts Center in Greeneville, TN
4/11: City Stage in Springfield, MA
4/12: Oneida Area Arts Council in Oneida, NY
4/13: RVCC Arts in Somerville, NJ
4/16: Atlantic High School in Atlantic, IA
4/17: Red Oak Arts Center in Red Oak, IA
4/18-4/19: Iowa Western Community College in Council Bluffs, IA
4/25: City of Buford in Buford, GA
4/26: Harbison Theatre in Irmo, SC
4/27: Bardo Performing Arts Center in Cullowhee, NC