News & Events

Concordia-Chicago production of "The Fantasticks" opens March 31


The Collective, the theater production company of Concordia University Chicago, presents “The Fantasticks,” the 1960 musical with music written by Harvey Schmidt with lyrics by Tom Jones. Directed by Brian Fruits with musical direction by Dr. Charles Brown, the play will run March 31, April 1, 7 and 8 at 7:30 p.m. and April 2 and 9 at 2:00 p.m. at the Madison Street Theatre, 1010 Madison St., Oak Park, IL.

Whimsical, poignant and romantic, “The Fantasticks” is an allegorical story that focuses on two young lovers, their meddling parents, and the journey we must all take through the growing pains of hurt and betrayal, the highs of passions and the agonies of heartbreak to discover how to truly love. The original off-Broadway production of “The Fantasticks” ran for a total of 42 years, making it the world’s longest-running musical.

Brian Fruits is theater director and a visiting assistant professor of English at Concordia University Chicago. He holds an MFA in Theatre (Directing) from the University of Memphis and originally hails from Chicago. He is an associate member of the Stage Director & Choreographers Union, and is the founder and artistic director of the Saltbox Theatre Collective.

Dr. Charles Brown is an associate professor of music and director of choral activities at Concordia-Chicago. As the conductor of Kapelle, the University’s choral performance ensemble, Brown has toured extensively throughout the United States as well as to Canada, the Baltic States, Poland, France, Russia and South America.

An opening gala will be held in the newly renovated foyer of the Madison Street Theatre after the March 31 performance, featuring a talkback with the directors and the chair of the Theater department, Dr. Jason Narvy. General admission tickets to “The Fantasticks” are $20, with discounts available for students, seniors and CUC alumni. Purchase tickets online at or by cash or check at the door before show time.