The original cast of The Fantasticks
The original cast of The Fantasticks
The lead-off film of Visionfest '03 -- the only domestic film festival to feature works exclusively by American filmmakers -- will be the highly anticipated documentary Try to Remember: The Fantasticks, which covers the history of the beloved Off-Broadway show that ran nearly 42 years.

The Fantasticks opened at the Sullivan Street Playhouse on May 3, 1960 and closed on January 13, 2002 after 17,162 performances, making it not only the longest running show in Off-Broadway history but the longest running musical ever. With book and lyrics by Tom Jones and music by Harvey Schmidt, The Fantasticks tells a universal coming-of-age love story using simple theatrical devices. In addition to the hit song "Try to Remember," the score includes such songs as "Soon It's Gonna Rain" and "They Were You."

Produced by Eli Kabillio and Lorna Thomas of Swing Films, the documentary looks at the show's history through the eyes of those who lived it, including authors Jones and Schmidt (who also wrote I Do! I Do! and Celebration), original star Jerry Orbach (now on TV's Law & Order), gossip columnist Liz Smith (who attended college with Jones and Schmidt), weatherman Ira Joe Fisher (a onetime cast member), and Lore Noto (the show's producer, who passed away last year).

Visionfest '03 will run June 25-29 and will be held at a location to be announced shortly. To reserve tickets, call 718-837-5736; for additional information, visit the Visionfest website.