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Bergen County Players presents "The Fantasticks"

originally published: 02/27/2024

Bergen County Players presents "The Fantasticks"

(ORADELL, NJ) -- Bergen County Players (BCP), one of America's longest-running little theater companies, continues its 92nd season with the longest-running musical classic, The Fantasticks. Full of buoyant humor, charming tunes, and a sprinkle of magic, The Fantasticks has been hailed as "a beautiful, poetic, and highly theatrical tale of the power and depth of love — gained, lost and found again" (Broadway World). Performances run March 9 through April 6, 2024.

With its breathtaking poetry, theatrical sophistication, and timeless songs like “Try to Remember” and “Soon It’s Gonna Rain,” The Fantasticks tells the story of a boy and a girl who fall madly in love, and their two meddlesome fathers who try to keep them apart. Since its inception, the script for The Fantasticks has continually evolved. This “little musical that could” has touched hearts and audiences for the last 64 years and BCP is hoping to recreate the magic of the original production as faithfully as possible.

Music is by Harvey Schmidt, with book and lyrics by Tom Jones. Musical direction is by Victoria Casella, with direction and musical staging by Ray Yucis. Performances begin Saturday, March 9 and will run through Saturday, April 6 at the Little Firehouse Theatre in Oradell with shows on Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00pm and on Sundays at 2:00pm.

Bergen County Players presents "The Fantasticks"

Ray Yucis, a Perry Award winner for Best Direction of a Play for Time Stands Still, also directed BCP’s Brooklyn Boy, The Women, Company, Moonlight and Magnolias, Around the World in 80 Days, and Comic Potential (Perry Award nominee, Best Direction). This Paterson resident has been the Resident Director of SummerStage at Leonia for the past 13 years, where he helmed their productions of Les Miserables, My Fair Lady, Annie, Anything Goes, and many more. He also directed the Players Guild of Leonia productions of Black Comedy, As Bees in Honey Drown, The Fantasticks, and Comedy of Errors. As an actor he has appeared in Pack of Lies, The Actor’s Nightmare, Tartuffe, Take Me Out, and others. A former high school and college teacher, Ray has retired from a career in corporate training and instructional design.

The Fantasticks is a hauntingly beautiful piece of theater,” said Director Ray Yucis. “Full of gorgeous poetry, exquisite music, and delightful whimsy, the story captivates and surprises in all the best ways. I’m delighted to be able to give our audience this opportunity to see this delicious story at Bergen County Players.”

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Schmidt (music) and Jones (book and lyrics) first began collaborating while students at the University of Texas. The Fantasticks – originally titled Joy Comes to Dead Horse – was their first full-length musical written after graduation. Originally staged at Barnard College in the summer of 1959 as a one-act musical, The Fantasticks was then rewritten at the urging of producer Lore Noto and received its official premiere at the Sullivan Street Playhouse - a small theatre in New York’s Greenwich Village - on May 3, 1960. The ran a total of 17,162 performances, making it the world's longest-running musical. It was awarded Tony Honors for Excellence in Theatre in 1991. Other Schmidt/Jones collaborations include 110 in the Shade, I Do! I Do!, and the original ritual musical Celebration.

Bergen County Players presents "The Fantasticks"

BCP’s talented cast of The Fantasticks includes Larry Brustofski of Oakland as El Gallo. Larry last appeared at BCP in A Grand Night for Singing. Other shows include The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Sweeney Todd, Spamalot, and Pajama Game. Damon Quattrocchi of Stony Point, NY plays Matt, The Boy.  Damon appeared in It Shoulda Been You and in Rent on the BCP stage. Grace Callahan of Oradell portrays Luisa, The Girl. Grace adds this role to her previous credits at BCP, including Master Class (Broadway World NJ Awards nominee/Best Supporting Performer in a Play) and The Story of Velveteen Rabbit. Steve Bell of Hackensack plays Hucklebee, The Boy’s Father. BCP audiences have enjoyed this Life Member’s performances in It Shoulda Been You, Guys and Dolls, Anything Goes, The Full Monty, Into the Woods, and Follies (Buddy – Perry Award winner).

Peter Downing of Cliffside Park portrays Bellomy, The Girl’s Father. Peter appeared on the BCP stage decades ago as Lieutenant Cable in South Pacific, and he is very pleased to be back. Bob Russell of Hackensack plays Henry, the Old Actor. Bob is making his BCP debut in this production. Adam Mahonchek of Pompton Lakes portrays Mortimer, the Man Who Dies. Adam was a member of the ensemble in BCP’s Cinderella and most recently appeared in A Christmas Carol. Carlos Palencia Junior of Fair Lawn plays The Mute. Carlos made his BCP debut in Rent which was followed by his performance in A Christmas Carol.

The production team is comprised of Lynne Lupfer (Producer/Set Décor), Victoria Casella (Musical Director), Steve Bell (Associate Musical Director), Geri Berhain (Production Stage Manager/Assistant Director), Michael Smith (Set Design/Construction), Allan Seward (Lighting Design), Jim Lupfer (Sound Design), Randi Kestin (Lighting Operation), Barry Reed (Sound Operation), Jennifer Bancks (Set Décor), Bunny Mateosian (Costume Mistress), Olga Garey, Carey Gsell (Costumes), Joanne Guarnaccia, Joanne Moldt, Melvin Barreto (Properties), Marisa Gore (Make-up), Michael Smith (Photography), Richard Field (Member-at-Large), and Marci K. Weinstein (Program Bios).

Bergen County Players presents "The Fantasticks"


* All performances take place at The Little Firehouse Theatre at 298 Kinderkamack Road in Oradell, home to the Bergen County Players since 1949.  Performance times are Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00pm, and Sundays

at 2:00pm.

* All tickets for The Fantasticks are $29. Tickets can be purchased online at, by calling 201-261-4200 or by visiting the box office at 298 Kinderkamack Road in Oradell during regular box office hours.  Visa, Master Card, and American Express are accepted.

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* Those interested in Group Sales or benefit theater parties can call (201) 261-4200 (option #6).

* BCP offers seating to accommodate patrons who are mobility impaired and can transfer from a wheelchair. These seats can be purchased by calling the box office at 201-261-4200 and will be released for public sale two weeks prior to performance.

* BCP's popular Questions & Artists talkback session with cast and crew will be held following the performance on Friday, March 15.

Bergen County Players presents "The Fantasticks"

* Advance discount tickets for students age 25 and under with proper ID are available for $18 by phone or walk-up at every performance, pending seat availability. Not available online. There is a limit of one discount ticket per student ID.

* "Rush' discount tickets for students aged 25 and under with proper ID are available for $5 at the box office window, starting 30 minutes prior to curtain. There is a limit of one Rush ticket per student ID and cash

is the only payment method accepted.

* A new program is now available for qualified non-profit organizations to use one performance of each production as a fundraising event. The group will book all 200 seats at a deeply discounted price and then resell the tickets at a price of their choosing, with the difference in price kept by the group. The available date is the Thursday of each show’s final weekend. Interested groups can email for more information.

* Parking is free for their patrons at the Park Avenue municipal lot, across the street, one-half block north of the theater, as well as street parking on Kinderkamack Road and various side streets, all within easy walking distance.

The Bergen County Players, Inc. is a non-Equity, non-profit community theater company dedicated to presenting quality productions for the enrichment of the community.


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