‘The Fantasticks’ on Orcas Island: don’t miss them

  • Wed Oct 29th, 2008 3:00pm
  • Life

“The Fantasticks” arrived at the Orcas Center last week, and this magical, musical, dancing show has something, no, it has everything, for everyone.

First, Director Jean Henigson has woven the magic of dance throughout this simple production, from the fathers’ solid march across the stage, that is, garden, to the wildy feverish waltz as Luisa explores a dangerous romance. And shining through every moment of the production, is the whispy sylph Sabrina Smith-Moreland who, without a word, sets the tone for whatever action is portrayed on the stage. She is simply, gracefully amazing and lights up the whole stage.

The fathers, played by Bryan Grantham and Dave Roseberry, portray the pride, protectiveness and annoyance that most parents have for their children as they launch into the world, and carry their amusing songs with gusto.

The performers in the actors troupe, played by Ezekiel Barr and Steve Henigson, have the audience captivated with their hilarious action and pompous fabrications.

The leads, (“The Fantasticks” of the title) – Grace McCune as Luisa and Jayson David as Matt – carry the songs and the plot with their beautiful singing voices and their deft portrayal of a ditzily romantic 16-year old girl (“Please God please! Don’t let me be normal!”) and a callow fellow whom we are asked throughout the play to remember.

It is El Gallo, played by Robert Hall, who urges us to remember that everything that is romantic and perfect in moonglow may be burning and lacking in daylight.

Hall, too, strikes the perfect note as the humorous, cynical and rueful observer of untested love and the inevitable pain that growth demands.

Henigson’s directorial debut has been burnished to a lovely memento, so that, like the Fantasticks, we come through hurt to compassion and a recognition of the love that is right next door.

Don’t miss the first episode in what should be a fine legacy of her productions.

“The Fantasticks” plays at the Orcas Center Thursday, Oct. 30 through Saturday, Nov. 1. For tickets, call 376-2281, or go to www.OrcasCenter.org