Free Compliments of our Advertisers
Sonoma County Gazette
Sergey Khalikulov - Carolyn Bacon - Lucas Brandt
The Narrator (Sergey Khalikulov) observes Luisa Bellomy (Carolyn Bacon) and Matt Hucklebee (Lucas Brandt) enjoying their fledgling affection.

Theater PREview: ‘The Fantasticks’ at Cinnabar Theater

Jun 11, 2018
by Alexa Chipman


Eager parents conspire to create the perfect romance for their children, using the classic trope of forbidden love. They watch the young couple mature from high-flown fantasies through the heartbreak of reality and into a future together. Loosely based on‘ Les Romanesques,’ the convoluted plot of bandits and seduction gains foundation through a journey of self-discovery and has become a popular musical around the world.

Henry, the old actor (James Pelican) and Mortimer, the man who dies (Brandon Wilson) deceive the inexperienced Matt Hucklebee (Lucas Brandt).Director Elly Lichenstein has chosen a minimalist, stylized setting, accentuating the historical setting. “We intentionally did not update the costumes” she explains, to demonstrate that it is not meant to be post-modern. The hapless heroine, Luisa, has been updated to hold her own, until she deliberately steps aside for Matt. It is “the old-fashioned feeding of the male ego” Lichenstein points out, having chosen energetic fight choreography for Luisa, until she takes herself out of the conflict in favor of her lover giving the final blow.

According to Lichenstein, the flourishing bravado of Tom Jones’ book and lyrics “was pretty unusual in its day” with rhyming couplets and blatant disregard for the fourth wall. As audiences, we have become accustomed to being addressed directly, but that was not the case in 1960 when the play was first performed. Everyone is involved, including the music director, who is referred to by the cast throughout the performance. Mary Chun and the band enjoy interacting during the story, collaborating to create “one complete package.”

‘The Fantasticks’ is comedic at heart, integrating slapstick shenanigans with darker discoveries. In addition to Chun and Lichenstein, the percussionist, Kevin Neuhoff, and associate director, James Pelican, were involved with ideas of what sound effects to use that would bring out the best in each scene. “Do you own…a bird whistle? How about a flexatone? Anyone have coconut shells? Can we hack through a watermelon every night and run it through a microphone?” Chun recalls the exciting creativity of rehearsals.

In a unique production of this beloved musical, Cinnabar has gathered a talented ensemble to perform in Petaluma.

The Fantasticks at Cinnabar Theater

The Fantasticks

Presented by Cinnabar Theater through June 24, 2018
Fri/Sat at 8:00pm, Sun/Sat June 23 at 2:00pm

Cinnabar Theater
3333 Petaluma Blvd North, Petaluma, CA 94952
(707) 763-8920

Photos by Victoria Von Thal

Author Website -

Travel Blog -
Twitter / Instagram / Facebook - alexachipman
Alexa Chipman Live theater reviews


Login to Make a Comment

Please support our sponsors:

City Ventures New Homes in Santa Rosa

CLICK on this ad to LEARN about NEW HOMES in TWO Communities in Santa Rosa, Sonoma County

Fine Tree Care - Sonoma County Tree Services

Visit Fine Tree Care WEBSITE for a List of our SERVICES - Testimonials and to request a FREE Estimate

LOCAL GUIDE to Cannabis Dispensaries and Delivery Services, Sonoma County & Beyond.

LOCAL GUIDE to Cannabis Dispensaries and Delivery Services, Sonoma County & Beyond.All dispensaries have verified their information.

Flip the pages of the 2019 Sonoma County gardeners Resource GUide - LIVE Links to local businessses

Your GUIDE to support locally-owned garden businesses and natural landscaping practices.

2019 Small Shops of Sonoma County

Your GUIDE to Locally-owned businesses to support Sonoma County's economy this Holiday Season

Sonoma County Bicycle Shops and Groups

Sonoma County Bike Shops and Groups. Find LOCALLY-OWNED Bicycle Shops for NEW, Used and Rental Bicycles as well as REPAIR. Look for a bike-riding group that suits your needs and style.

Locally-Owned Jewelry Businesses in Sonoma County

Find Goldsmiths and Jewelers who create custom designs, offer jewelry repair, estate appraisals, and gems.

Bookstores of Sonoma County - LOCAL GUIDE

Find a LOCALLY-OWNED Bookstore near you - CLICK HERE

Flower Shops and Florists of Sonoma County

Please support locally-owned businesses and tell them the Gazette sent you - THANK YOU!