A timeless musical imparts its lessons on life and love at Palm Beach Dramaworks

Review

A timeless musical imparts its lessons on life and love at Palm Beach Dramaworks

Jul 20 2012
Christine Dolen | Miami Herald

If you heard that Palm Beach Dramaworks picked The Fantasticks as its summer show and thought, "oh, that old thing," don't be so quick to assume that a 1960 musical fable has become irrelevant. ...Dramaworks is giving its summertime loyalists a Fantasticks that is, well, fantastic. Artfully directed by J. Barry Lewis, with exquisite musical direction by Craig D. Ames, the production is beautifully sung by its cast of familiar South Florida actors and newcomers. With Ames at the piano and Kay Kemper playing the harp, a score full of familiar songs – Try to Remember, Soon It's Gonna Rain, They Were You and more – is delivered with shimmering simplicity and purity. Anchored by a dashing Jim Ballard as the roguish narrator El Gallo, the cast deftly navigates the show's sweetness, humor and sobering second act... ...Finishing out its first season in its larger yet still intimate home on Clematis Street in West Palm Beach, Dramaworks has built its reputation and a loyal audience by doing first-rate productions of all kinds of theater – recent and vintage works, plays and musicals, American and world classics. The Fantasticks adds to the company's string of successes.