Culinary News from The Culinary Institute of America

Half Moon Theatre Puts its Unique Spin on the Longest Running Musical Hit

The Fantasticks at The Culinary Institute of America April 24–May 10, 2015

Media Contact:

Diane Jackson Schnoor

Hyde Park, NY – Half Moon Theatre opens its inaugural spring season at The Culinary Institute of America with the beloved classic, The Fantasticks, the world’s longest-running musical that has entranced generations of audiences the world over. The Fantasticks will run from April 24–May 10 (weekends only). Under the direction of Michael Schiralli, Half Moon Theatre puts its own spin on the Tom Jones & Harvey Schmidt classic, which features a lush score and such timeless melodies as “Try To Remember,” “Soon It’s Gonna Rain,” and “They Were You.”

The Fantasticks is a funny and heartfelt musical about a boy, a girl, their two fathers, and the wall that separates their two houses. The boy and the girl fall in love, face the challenges of the harsh world, and finally find their way back to each other after realizing the truth in the narrator, El Gallo's, words, “without a hurt, the heart is hollow.” The gorgeous setting of the Marriott Pavilion at The Culinary Institute of America is a perfect backdrop for sharing this timeless, romantic musical.

“I have loved The Fantasticks since seeing it in the early 1980s at the intimate Sullivan Street Playhouse in New York City's Greenwich Village,” says Director Michael Schiralli. “Its deceptively simple plot of first love and self-discovery is as poignant today as when it opened in 1960. The Fantasticks transports its audiences to a place and time of their own innocence. I can't wait to stage it at the glorious, much larger, Marriott Pavilion and share it with Hudson Valley audiences—young and old alike.”

The New Yorker describers The Fantasticks as “the kind of teenage love it depicts: nectar-sweet, exempt from time—and not nearly as simple as you may remember.”

Hailed as “a gem” by The Wall Street Journal and as the “perfect first musical for any child to see” by amNewYork, The Fantasticks has been produced in every state in America and more than 60 countries worldwide.

HMT Managing Director Kristy Grimes says, “Half Moon Theatre is thrilled to be producing this gorgeous show—full of hilarious hijinks, familiar songs, and a lovely moral that resonates with all ages. We hope that people who haven’t seen The Fantastics in many years will come back and see our production, and parents will share this classic piece of American musical history with their children.”

Whether it is your first time seeing The Fantasticks or your fiftieth time, we invite you to “Try to Remember” why The Fantasticks continues to be the world's longest running—and most beloved—musical of all time.

Performance Dates:

  • Friday: 4/24, 5/01, and 5/08 at 8 p.m.
  • Saturday: 4/25, 5/02, and 5/09 at 8 p.m.
  • Sunday: 4/26, 5/03, and 5/10 at 2 p.m.

Make Your Dinner Reservations Early:
The Culinary Institute of America is holding a special block of dinner reservations at their restaurants for HMT patrons! Savor a delicious $39 pre-theatre three-course menu before The Fantasticks at the incredible American Bounty Restaurant, The Bocuse Restaurant, Ristorante Caterina de’ Medici, or Pangea Restaurant. Not all restaurants are open prior to all performances. During the run of the show, Ristorante Caterina de’ Medici and Pangea Restaurant are open on Friday evenings, American Bounty Restaurant and The Bocuse Restaurant are open on both Friday and Saturday evenings, and all restaurants are closed on Sunday. Please e-mail or call 845-905-4533 to reserve your table today.

Opening Night Dessert Reception, Saturday, April 25:
Opening Nights are always electric. Join the cast, creative team, and crew for a festive celebration immediately following the performance. The Culinary Institute of America will be providing a sumptuous dessert reception, including a signature cocktail. Don’t miss this guaranteed night of fun at Half Moon Theatre! Reception included in ticket prices ($25–$45).

To purchase tickets to Half Moon Theatre’s The Fantasticks, call 1-800-838-3006 or order online at Tickets are $25 for children under 18, $35 for seniors and during matinees, and $40 for evening performances.

Group sales tickets for The Fantasticks are available for parties of seven or more. For groups sales or gift certificates to Half Moon Theatre productions, please contact

For more information, contact:

Kristy Grimes
Managing Director—Half Moon Theatre

Stephan Hengst
Director—Communications, CIA

Photo Caption and Hi-Res Image

Half Moon Theatre’s The Fantasticks at The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY. (Photo credit: Half Moon Theatre)
View hi-res image >

Founded in 1946, The Culinary Institute of America is an independent, not-for-profit college offering associate degrees in culinary arts and baking and pastry arts and bachelor's degree majors in management, culinary science, and applied food studies, as well as certificates in culinary arts and wine and beverage studies. As the world's premier culinary college, the CIA provides thought leadership in the areas of health & wellness, sustainability, and world cuisines & cultures through research and conferences. The CIA has a network of 48,000 alumni that includes industry leaders such as Grant Achatz, Anthony Bourdain, Roy Choi, Cat Cora, Dan Coudreaut, Steve Ells, Charlie Palmer, and Roy Yamaguchi. The CIA also offers courses for professionals and enthusiasts, as well as consulting services in support of innovation for the foodservice and hospitality industry. The college has campuses in New York, California, Texas, and Singapore.

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