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Casino Theatre breaks new ground with regional summer production of ‘The Fantasticks’ June 11-28

Professional actors will stand toe-to-toe with Salve Regina students and community members making up the cast that will present the inaugural summer theater season production of “The Fantasticks” June 11-28 at the historic Casino Theatre.

Professional actors Melanie Souza (who will play the role of Bellomy) and Peter Tedeschi (who will play Hucklbee) are both members of the Actor’s Equity Association. Jonathan Olivera, a 2012 Salve Regina graduate who will play the role of El Gallo, is an Actor’s Equity Association candidate.

Reggie Phoenix, theater program coordinator at Salve and artistic director of the Casino Theatre who is directing the production, said the hiring of professionals for the production places the Casino Theatre on a new playing field. “It puts the Casino into the professional regional theater category which reinforces the idea that we are committed to producing theater with the quality, production values and level professionalism that is expected from other regional theaters in New England area,” Phoenix said.

Performances will be June 11-13, 18-20 and 25-27 at 8 p.m., and June 13-14, 20-21 and 27-28 at 2 p.m. at the Casino Theatre, 9 Freebody St. For tickets and reservations, call the box office at 401-341-2250 or visit

Written by Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt, “The Fantasticks” is the world’s longest running musical. It tells the charming and romantic story of a boy, a girl, a father, a mother … and a wall. The narrator, El Gallo, asks the audience to use their imagination and follow him into a world of moonlight and magic. The boy and the girl fall in love, grow apart, and finally find their way back to each other after realizing the truth in El Gallo’s words that “without a hurt, the heart is hollow.”

“The Fantasticks is one of the most beautiful and enduring musicals in the history of the American musical theater canon with an irresistible score and a story that is universal,” Phoenix said. “That it is the longest running show in the history of theater speaks to its beloved status.

“Our students are some of the finest young actors in or out of college,” Phoenix said. “The deep and solid training they receive in the theater program translates directly to work that they are doing onstage as well as the uptick in the attendance of local patrons who are responding to the productions so powerfully. This cast, along with the professional actors and creative team we've assembled, is the absolute cream of the crop.”

Kenneth Bennel‎ '18- The Mute
Mariana Bracciale '16‎- Luisa
Hunter Nicolson '16‎- Henry
Jonathan Olivera+ '12- El Gallo
Evan Raiff '15- Mortimer
Melanie Souza*‎- Bellomy
Peter Tedeschi*‎- Hucklbee
Matthew Royality-Lindman- Matt

*Member of Actor's Equity Association
+ Actor's Equity Association Candidate

Production Team
Director- Reggie Phoenix
Musical Director- Jennifer Holden
Technical Director/Scenic/Lighting Designer- Pippin McGowan
Costumes- Anne-Marie Couto
Sound Engineer- Gahyae Ryu
Hair and Makeup- Joe Rossi

Stage Manager- Ashley Cudney ‘14
Assistant Stage Manager- Elizabeth Maligranda ‘15
Stage Hand/Prop Master- Jenifer Sartonowitz ‘16
Stage Hand- Molly Corley ‘17
Assistant Stage Hand- Alexandra D’Agostino ‘17