Digging Deep into The WORDS!
I'm so deep into learning The Fantasticks that I'm practically losing myself!!!
But in all seriousness I feel like I've been eating, breathing, and sleeping the sights, sounds, and visceral touch of this piece. Lately I've been digging deep into the text of the show and the style that it's written in.
At the time The Fantasticks was written everyone was trying to recreate the monumental powerhouse Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals. Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt originally tried to make The Fantasticks one of these recreations. But, the product just didn't work. The Fantasticks was meant to be it's own special animal. And it clearly sets itself a part from most musicals with the manner it chooses to communicate!
Tom Jones borrowed literary techniques utilized by Shakespeare in the form of blank and rhymed verse. This dialogue elevates the simplistic events taking place and reinforces the mythic and fable like storytelling. And because verse is based so much on rhythm, its as if the music never stops and the energy continues throughout the piece!
The question of "Who El Gallo Is" still lingers. But, having looked and poured over The WORDS, I feel like I've come to a conclusion:
El Gallo, with the help of The Mute, are exactly what and who are needed at any given time. So, he moves in and out of the scene like a chameleon. At the beginning he's the narrator, but more importantly he's the bridge between you (the audience) and the story and the actors. Then he's the salesman, The human farce to help sell the cardboard moon. In Act II he's the god like father figure teaching each child a lesson...despite "hurting himself" through the process. He's always what is needed, but not always what he wants. I
Until Next Time,
Lift Big, Sing Big, and Look Your Absolute Best Doing It.
Kasey (Ol') Yeargain