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Tom Jones Reprises His 'Fantastick' Role

400px-Tom_Jones_photo_10The Fantasticks 50th anniversary festivities continue tonight, as Tom Jones, the lyricist and writer of the long-running play, reprises his role as Henry, which he first played back in 1960.

As Blogstage noted previously, The Fantasticks is the longest running musical in the world, with its original run spanning five decades, opening in 1960 and closing in 2002 after 17,162 performances. The show was revived in 2006 Off-Broadway.

For Jones, this seems not just a return to stage but, as quoted in the New York Times blog ArtsBeat today, an opportunity for reflection:

"I think there's a sharper edge for me now, an awareness that when Henry gets into a box at the end of the show and reaches out his hand and says, 'Remember me,' it's like a moment out of a Samuel Beckett play ... The box is very clearly a coffin to me now. And saying some of those lines in that scene, about leaving and about there not being much to the old company anymore, makes me think about Jerry Orbach and the whole original company. There are only three of us still alive. Everyone else is gone. Coming back to perform is such a wonderful way to honor them and the show's history."

Jones is scheduled to perform as Henry in The Fantasticks through June 6. The Fantasticks performs six days a week at The Snapple Theater Center's Jerry Orbach Theater in NYC. For more information about the show, check out their fantastic website.

--Alice Wade

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