Flat Rock Playhouse presents the world’s longest running musical in the history of musicals, The Fantasticks, from April 17 – May 11 at The Flat Rock Playhouse Downtown. Part of its "Season of Laughter and Love" presented by The Cliffs, the Playhouse is pleased to offer this installment of love, with music by Harvey Schmidt and lyrics by Tom Jones, loosely based on the play "The Romancers" by Edmond Rostand.

 opened in 1960 at The Sullivan Street Theatre in New York City and has the distinction of being the longest running musical in the world. This musical tells the story of two neighboring fathers who trick their children, Luisa and Matt, into falling in love by pretending to feud. The fathers hire traveling actors to stage a mock abduction, so that Matt can heroically seem to save Luisa, ending the supposed feud. When the children discover the deception, they reject the arranged love match and separate. Each then gains disillusioning experiences of the real world, seen in parallel fantasy sequences. They return to each other bruised, but enlightened and they renew their vows with more maturity.

 has charmed audiences at the Sullivan Street Playhouse in New York City’s Greenwich Village, The Jerry Orbach Theatre in Times Square (and soon, The Playhouse Downtown) ever since Dwight Eisenhower was President. This production of The Fantasticks will be performed completely in the round with elaborate riggings and "old time theatre tricks" that play to the strength of the musical. Cirque style staging and props, along with "vintage meets futuristic" costumes will deliver magical moments throughout each performance.

The show is directed by Producing Artistic Director for the Playhouse, Vincent Marini. In addition to producing the innovative "Music on the Rock" series, Marini has directed

 Les Miserables; For The Glory; A Few Good Men; Guys and Dolls; The Buddy Holly Story; Celtic Christmas; Our Show of Shows; Cotton Patch Gospel; and Hank Williams: Lost Highway.

Cast members are Maria Buchanan, Preston Dyar, Justin Gregory Lopez, Carly Evan Hughes, Ryan Hilliard, Richard Gang, Peter Gosik, Chris Allison, and Kelley Hinman.

Music Director is Michael Sebastian. Assistant Music Director is Alex Shields. Set design is by Dennis C. Maulden. Costume design is by Ashli Arnold. Lighting design is by Stephen Terry. Sound design is by Nick Kourtides.