Friday, July 29, 2016

Casting Announced For 'The Fantasticks'

PASADENA, CA (July 29, 2016) – The Pasadena Playhouse (Artistic Director Sheldon Epps) announced today full casting for THE FANTASTICKS by Harvey Schmidt and Tom Jones. The production will be directed by Seema Sueko, who directed The Pasadena Playhouse’s critically acclaimed production of Real Women Have Curves last season.

The cast of eight features Philip Anthony-Rodriguez as El Gallo (Broadway’s Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story, NBC’s Grimm); Regi Davis as Bellomy (Nickelodeon’s Game Shakers); Conor Guzmán as Matt (The Cabrillo Music Theatre’s The Little Mermaid); Ashley Park as Luisa (Broadway’s The King and I); contemporary dance artist Alyse Rockett as The Mute, Amir Talai as Mortimer (Nickelodeon’s Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awsomeness); Gedde Watanabe as Hucklebee (Broadway’s Pacific Overtures, John Hughes’ Sixteen Candles); and Hal Linden as Henry, whose extensive credits include ABC’s Barney Miller, and a Best Actor Tony Award for his portrayal of Mayer Rothschild in the Broadway musical The Rothschilds.

Director Seema Sueko says, “I can't wait to dive into rehearsals with this incredibly talented group of artists. Beyond their beautiful voices and great acting, these eight individuals bring a unique artistry and life experience to what we hope will be a timely and resonant production."

Sheldon Epps, Artistic Director of The Pasadena Playhouse says, "Seema and her creative team have brought together a wonderfully diverse, talented, charming, and persuasive cast for our production of this much loved musical.  I have no doubt that the entire company will bring both freshness and immediacy to this great classic that will have audiences not just rediscovering the show, but in fact seeing it as if for the first time.  I very much look forward to their contributions to this true gem of a musical."

Tom Jones, lyricist and book writer of THE FANTASTICKS, says, "I have been a fan of The Pasadena Playhouse for a long time. I have been a fan of Seema Sueko for a much shorter time, as we met online just a few months ago when she wrote me describing her ideas for a new way to approach THE FANTASTICKS.  I was so impressed by what she wrote that we began a series of emails, tossing ideas and possibilities back and forth like two jugglers in a vaudeville show.  When she was finally able to come visit me at my home we began to pin down our ideas to specifics, and I began, after nearly sixty years, to rewrite a few sections of THE FANTASTICKS.”

The creative team for THE FANTASTICKS includes Music Director David O, choreographer Kitty McNamee, scenic designer David F. Weiner; costume designer Shirley Pierson; lighting designer Josh Epstein; sound designer Joe Huppert; and fight choreographer Tim Weske.

Preview performances begin at The Pasadena Playhouse (39 S. El Molino Avenue in Pasadena) Sept. 6, 2016 with the official press opening on Sept. 11, 2016. THE FANTASTICKS will play through Oct. 2, 2016.

THE FANTASTICKS opened on May 3, 1960, and played off-Broadway for 17,162 performances before closing on Jan. 13, 2002, making it the longest running musical in history. Winner of a Tony Honor for Excellence in Theatre, THE FANTASTICKS is a lyrical and romantic musical that tells an allegorical love story about a boy, a girl, two fathers and a wall. This beloved musical has been seen in over 67 countries and performed in locations ranging from The Peking Opera to The White House.

The Pasadena Playhouse is located at 39 South El Molino Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91101.  The performance schedule is Tuesday through Friday at 8 p.m.; Saturday at 4 p.m. and 8 p.m.; and Sunday at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Tickets, priced from $25 to $135, are available online at; by calling The Pasadena Playhouse at 626-356-7529; or visiting The Pasadena Playhouse Box Office, Tuesday – Sunday from 1 p.m. until 6 p.m. during non-performance dates.  On performance dates the Box Office is open Tuesday – Saturday from 1 p.m. – 8 p.m. and 1 p.m. – 7 p.m. on Sunday.  For more information, visit

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