NEPA Scene Staff

Long-running musical ‘The Fantasticks’ comes to Music Box Dinner Playhouse in Swoyersville Sept. 6-22

Long-running musical ‘The Fantasticks’ comes to Music Box Dinner Playhouse in Swoyersville Sept. 6-22
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From a press release:

The Music Box Dinner Playhouse in Swoyersville will present the musical comedy “The Fantasticks” – the longest running musical in the world with more than 17,000 performances – on Friday, Sept. 6 through Sunday, Sept. 22.

The local production, directed by Michael Marone of Wilkes-Barre, features two fathers who trick their children into falling in love by pretending to feud. Abby Hastings of Dallas and Tyler Saar of Scranton play the children, Luisa and Matt.

“Matt’s purpose in this show is Luisa,” Saar said. “[He] is immensely in love with the girl next door, and he would do anything for her and protect her, even if it means going through hell and back.”

Admitting she did not know too much about the show before auditioning, Hastings describes the plot as a beautiful story filled with humor and life lessons.

“Utilizing both comedic and dramatic aspects, ‘The Fantasticks’ showcases multiple different types of love as well as the idea that we can never truly appreciate what we have without being hurt in the process,” she explained.

Abby is not the only Hastings in the cast. Her father, Ian, shares the stage with her and plays her father, Mr. Bellomy.

Additional cast members include Marone as Mortimer, John Toussaint Jr. as El Gallo, George Steltz as Mr. Hucklebee, Michael Gallagher as Henry, and Brennan Johnson as the mute.

Gallagher, a Wilkes-Barre resident who is no stranger to the Music Box stage or the playhouse itself, describes himself as helping to add comic relief to the show. Some of the music, he believes, will be recognizable to those not as familiar with the show itself.

“My favorite part [of the show] is hearing the song ‘Try to Remember’ and ‘Soon It’s Going to Rain,'” he said.

“People will be familiar with many of the songs and will be intrigued by its staging, utilizing a thrust stage, a first for the Music Box. It is a classic piece of musical theatre with a happy ending and characters who are most likable and memorable.”

“The Fantasticks” begins at 8 p.m. on Sept. 6, 7, 13, 14, 20, and 21. Sunday matinee performances will be held at 3 p.m. on Sept. 8, 15, and 22. For all shows, audience members have the option of purchasing a dinner and show ticket or a “show only” ticket.

Doors at the Music Box (196 Hughes St., Swoyersville) open at 6 p.m., and the meal begins at 6:30 p.m. For matinees, doors open at 1 p.m., with the meal beginning at 1:30 p.m. New for this show, the Music Box is offering a Sunday brunch instead of its regular buffet. Brunch and dinner tickets must be purchased in advance.

“Show only” tickets are $20. Brunch buffet and show tickets are $35, and buffet dinner and show tickets are $38. All tickets can be purchased by calling the box office at 570-283-2195 or e-mailing Additional information is available at

The Music Box Players are a nonprofit theatre group performing everyone’s favorite musicals and plays at the Music Box Dinner Playhouse. They also produce original as well as nationally known titles for children and maintain educational programs for both teens and younger children in stagecraft and theatre skills.