Diverse cast announced for Quest’s “The Fantasticks” Opening Feb. 18

Quest Theatre Ensemble will offer free performances of the world’s longest running musical to audiences at their home in Andersonville’s Blue Theatre in February and March. The Fantasticks, the musical by Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt based on Edmond Rostand’s Les Romanesques (The Romancers), is a classic story of young love. It tells of two next-door neighbors who plot to make their children fall in love by keeping them apart, on the premise that children most want to do what their parents forbid them to do. The musical will be directed by Kent Joseph, a Quest associate company member who has had lead roles in numerous Quest productions, including most recently, Scrooge in A Christmas Carol: The Musical, Mr. Bogs in Tomato Queen, and All the World’s a Stage.Appearing as the young lovers Matt and Luisa will be Adam Fane and Tiffany Williams. Fane, currently appearing as Flotsam in The Little Mermaid at Paramount Theatre, had the lead role of Rod in Mercury Theatre’s long-running production of Avenue Q. He has been seen in many of Chicago’s high-profile Equity musical theater productions in recent years, including Mamma Mia, Hairspray, and Mary Poppins at Paramount; and Gypsy, Shrek: the Musical and The Little Mermaid at Chicago Shakespeare. Tiffany Williams appeared this past summer in Firebringer by Starkid Productions. Her other credits include The Beautiful Dark at Redtwist and The Bacchae Revisited at Right Brain Project. Quintanilla has appeared in productions by Light Opera Works including The Merry Widow, in which he played Count Lacomte.

In a bit of gender-blind casting, Megan Elk -a recent transplant from Cleveland, Ohio, where she appeared in Mister Burns: A Post-Electric Play at the Cleveland Public Theatre and performed cabaret under the name Miss Alexandra Huntingdon – will play the boy’s parent, Hucklebee. Jordan DeBose, who is completing a run as Kevin Rosario in Porchlight’s In the Heights, will play the girl’s parent, Bellomy. Rounding out the cast is Kristen Alesia as Mortimer, and Quest associate company members Kirk Osgood (Henry) and Lindsey Jouett (The Mute).

Pictured above. Top Row L-R: Adam Fane, Tiffany Williams, Kirk Osgood. Lindsay Jouett. Bottom Row L-R: Megan Elk, Robert Quintanilla, Jordan DeBose, Kristen Alesia.

The production team for The Fantasticks is Sara Cate Langham (music director), Kasey Alfonso (choreographer), Joseph Pilka (scenic design), Emma Cullimore (costume design), Eric Vigo (lighting design), Jack Mecherle (sound design), Julie Taylor (scenic art). The production team is Samantha Joy (stage manager), Emily Kefferstan (production manager), and Mary Zanger (assistant stage manager).

Director Kent Joseph cites the following passage from the musical as a key to his interpretation of the piece.
Their moon was cardboard, fragile.
It was very apt to fray,
And what was last night scenic
May seem cynic by today.

Joseph says, “This quote seems so apropos to today; where the uncertainty of tomorrow and our perceptions of reality often change in the light of day. And although in typical musical theatre tradition the play has a happy ending, the characters do find a “couple of surprises” along their road to happiness.”

Quest Ensemble Artistic Director Andrew Park adds, “It is with great pride that The Quest Theatre Ensemble celebrates its 15th season of offering free theatre to Chicago, and introduces the cast of The People’s The Fantasticks. We always insert the words “The People’s” as a reminder that theater belongs to the people and therefore should be made accessible to everyone. This is why we offer our productions free of charge so that anyone can participate.

Quest Theatre Ensemble, founded in 2002, is known for its productions of established as well as original plays and musicals – and for its innovative visual design frequently including large-scale puppetry. Past productions have included their annual holiday pageant Blue Nativity performed in venues around Chicago every year since the company’s founding; Broadway musicals (A Christmas Carol The Musical, Little Shop of Horrors, Into the Woods and Barnum); original pageants (Evolution/Creation, The People’s History of the United States) and original book musicals (Tomato Queen, All the World’s a Stage).

Quest Theatre Ensemble is dedicated to being the “People’s Theatre of Chicago” by creating productions that Inform, Delight, Inspire and Unite.” Committed to making theatre accessible to everyone, the ensemble choose stories that have universal appeal, finds innovative ways to engage the community and offers productions free of charge so anyone can participate.

Quest Theatre Ensemble is funded in part by generous grants from the MacArthur Funds for Arts and Culture at the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, and The Saints.