Be assured, the Western Nevada Musical Theatre Company's production of "The Fantasticks" is well worth seeing. It's a delightful, unpretentious show with an outstanding cast in an intimate setting that allows the audience to see the freckles on the leading lady's nose. Well, almost.
For the first time, the company is performing at home in the Cedar Building's Marlette Hall on the Western Nevada Community College campus.
Marlette Hall isn't exactly designed for stage shows, but for "The Fantasticks," it's ideal. No curtain? A white sheet with the logo of "The Fantasticks" pinned to supports will do. No orchestra pit? A corner of the room suffices.
It's the cast that counts, and the eight members acquit themselves with panache. It's easy as the musical progresses to lose oneself in the characters, from the leading actors Joshua Jessup as the Narrator, El Gallo, who gets better with every new show; to Andie Anderson (what a fine voice she has) as the Girl; and Pedro Rangel, a newcomer to the company, who plays the Boy.
Toss in veteran actress Catherine Hearn as the Boy's Mother and Scott Anderson as the Girl's Father, and you have the makings of fine entertainment. This is not to ignore the comedy relief in Ed Scott Jr. as The Man Who Dies and Patrick Hardy as The Actor.
Then there's The Mute, Mandy Ralls, the engine that keeps things running smoothly, from sprinkling snow to hanging out stars.
And of course, there's the musical itself. Seldom has a musical's opening song, in this case "Try to Remember," been such a snapshot for a show.
Jessup sings that song twice, to open and close the production, and he tweaks memories for almost everyone with its bittersweet lyrics. He's a commanding, witty character on stage, whether singing or just sitting on a trunk.
Anderson is wistfully sweet and sings up a classical storm. Rangel matches her neatly.
Hearn and Anderson as the parents plotting to marry their children demonstrate the talents that they have honed in many shows. They are truly pros.
Hardy and Scott are the comedy foils as an out-of-work actor and phony Indian. They, too, know their business and furnish lighter moments.
Musicians Linda Hardy on piano, Ann Libby on synthesizer, Kevin Murphy on percussion and Kate Pope on bass sound like a much bigger orchestra - but are just right for the show.
Robert Grant directs with an eye on pace, and Stephanie Arrigotti produces, tying together all the loose ends.
Of course, the show wouldn't exist without the words by Tom Jones and music by Harvey Schmidt. A minor problem is getting the song "Try to Remember" out of one's head after the show. All musicals should have such a problem.
It's the kind of musical that leaves you feeling good about life.
Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday and at 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are $18 general admission, $16 for students and seniors, and $14 for those 17 and under. Call 445-4249.
n Contact reporter Sam Bauman at email@example.com or 881-1236.
See the show
Waht: Western Nevada Musical Theatre Company's presents "The Fantasticks"
When: 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday and at 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday
Where: Cedar Building's Marlette Hall on the Western Nevada Community College campus.
Admission: $18 general admission, $16 students and seniors, and $14, 17 and under.