My Fantastick(s) Memory

For me, one of the all-time gems of New York City is the show, The Fantasticks. After 42 years at the Sullivan Street Playhouse, it relocated to The Snapple Theater on Broadway in 2006, where they are happy to welcome students and groups of any age. In fact, a few months ago, we took a group of students participating in Urban Glee NYC, a project of our in-school arts education organization, Literacy Takes a Bow (LTAB), to see the show. It was thrilling for them, especially when they got to hang out with some of the actors during the Talk Back and ask questions about their acting process and the production. I have always had a special place in my heart for The Fantasticks. Here’s why…

As a college student attending NYU in the 1980s, I had an apartment over Rocco Restaurant on Thompson Street between Bleeker and Houston in Greenwich Village. In the height of the summer, the hot, stagnant air, pregnant with the pungent fragrance of roasted garlic from Rocco’s, filled my apartment. For a respite from the heat, I would sit on my windowsill, which opened out to the fire escape, to try and catch an occasional cool breeze. One night I made an incredible discovery. The back of the Sullivan Street Playhouse was directly parallel to my apartment. Seeking some relief from the sultry temperatures, they would often open the stage door resulting in the sweet sounds of the The Fantasticks flowing out the theatre door and in through my open window. As an aspiring writer and student in NYU’s School of the Arts, I was passionate about theatre. What greater gift could there have been, than to be serenaded night after night by the world’s longest running musical? It’s a memory I haven’t had to “Try to Remember,” because it has stayed with me all these years.

                                                                         

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