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‘The Fantastiks’ to end epic run

Building modifications, show's red ink lead to decision

NEW YORK — Gotham’s longest-running show will call it quits after nearly 42 years.

“The Fantasticks” is scheduled to give its last performance Jan. 6. The Tom Jones/Harvey Schmidt musical opened May 3, 1960, at the 153-seat Sullivan Street Playhouse, where it continues to run.

Lore Noto, the show’s original producer, said the recent sale of the Greenwich Village building helped to prompt the closing notice. “Power Management, the new owners, wanted to make changes in the building that we could not accept,” Noto said, mentioning alterations in the lobby area and dressing rooms.

Just as significant, the show has been “bleeding red ink for the past year,” Noto added.

In 1986, the producer took an ad in the New York Times to announce the closing of “The Fantasticks,” and the ploy worked. Subsequent publicity kept the show open for years.

The producer said a similar stampede to the box office in 2001 would not save the show a second time. “We could possibly extend one week,” he said, “but our agreement is to vacate no later than Jan. 18.”

Noto said the show was capitalized at $16,500. He did not venture to estimate the return on that original investment.

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