Landmark Musical Theatre in association with the Shelton Theater proudly presents the longest running musical in history, The Fantasticks, at the mainstage Shelton Theater in San Francisco, now playing through June 23, 2018.

This sweetly innocent yet "worldly-wise" musical romance based on Edmund Rostand's Les Romanesques (which was itself a gentle parody of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet), first opened at the Sullivan Street Playhouse in 1960 with Jerry Orbach (Chicago, 42nd Street and Law and Order) in the lead role of El Gallo, and stood the test of time, running 42 years in its first off-Broadway run, followed by another long off-Broadway run from 2006 through 2017.

(To see performer bios, click on a photo and then hover your mouse over the pop-up image.)

1964 HALLMARK HALL OF FAME BROADCAST of THE FANTASTICKS with Bert Lahr, Susan Watson, Stanley Holloway, John Davidson and Ricardo Montalban (standing center rear).

The show has one of the most beautiful scores written for the stage, coupling just a single piano with the lush overlay of a concert harp, and includes such well-known songs as "Try To Remember" and "Soon It's Gonna Rain".

The Fantasticks appeared on network television in 1964 on the Hallmark Hall of Fame, starring Ricardo Montalban as El Gallo, Susan Watson as Luisa (The Girl) and John Davidson (yes, that John Davidson!) as Matt (The Boy). Watson had appeared in the very first workshop production of The Fantasticks at Barnard College in 1959 but had to forego the off-Broadway production because she was originating the role of Kim in Bye Bye Birdie on Broadway.

Many well-known actors either got their start or furthered their careers in one or more of the roles in the long-running off-Broadway production, including Liza Minnelli, Elliott Gould, F. Murray Abraham, Glenn Close, Keith Charles, Kristin Chenoweth, Bert Convy, and Eileen Fulton. The show's original producer, Lore Noto, appeared as Hucklebee in hundreds of performances over the years, and author Tom Jones became well-known under the alias Thomas Bruce for playing the old Shakespearean actor Henry through much of the run.

The New York Times called The Fantasticks the most produced musical in the world, with over 11,000 productions in 3,000 cities and towns across all of the United States and in 67 countries. Landmark Musical Theatre and the Shelton Theater are proud to bring this wonderful gem back to San Francisco after many years, in a production intended to evoke the charm and heart of the original as it was produced at the Sullivan Street Playhouse more than half a century ago.