The Nebraska Theatre Caravan, the professional touring wing of the Omaha Community Playhouse, has cast its national tour of “The Fantasticks,” which runs Jan. 17 through April 27.
The 1960s musical will have a steampunk design theme, similar to the Playhouse’s production of it in February 2012. Steampunk melds industrial-revolution mechanization, Victorian fashion and a punk-rock attitude from the 1980s.
Jennifer Tritz of Omaha will tour in the role of Luisa, which she played at the Playhouse in 2012. Dan Chevalier, also widely known to local theater patrons, is the tour’s Mute.
Others in the tour cast: Chad Bradford as El Gallo, Peter O’Neal as Matt, Jon McDonald as Bellomy, Andrew Tebo as Hucklebee, Brent Burington as Henry and Alejandro Gutierrez as Mortimer. Carl Beck, the Playhouse’s artistic director, is again directing the show. Steven Zumbrun is music director.
Other than “A Christmas Carol,” this is the first Caravan show to tour since “The Spitfire Grill” in fall 2004. The tour, a casualty of budget cuts, was revived when the Caravan’s new booking director, Beau Bisson, found he could market “The Fantasticks” profitably. The Caravan was founded by the late Charles Jones, former Playhouse director, in 1975.
The tour will play 69 performances in nearly 30 states, stretching from Washington and Arizona to Massachusetts and Florida.
Among area dates for the tour are Rapid City, S.D., Jan. 17 and 18; Norfolk, Neb., Jan. 30; Hutchinson, Kan., Feb. 1; Oskaloosa, Iowa, Feb. 4; Spirit Lake, Iowa, Feb. 6; Kearney, Neb., Feb. 7; Scottsbluff, Neb., Feb. 8; Fairfield, Iowa, March 1; Atlantic, Iowa, April 16; Red Oak, Iowa, April 17; and Council Bluffs’ Iowa Western Community College on April 18 and 19.