The 28th annual William Inge Festival wrapped up last night with a tribute to Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt for their work on The Fantsticks, Celebration, I Do! I Do!, and one of the most memorable songs in the American songbook — “Try to Remember.”
The late Jerry Orbach created the role of El Gallo in the original production of The Fantasticks that opened 50 years ago next month … and ran for 42 years. It’s since been revived and is still running, making it the longest-running musical in the world. One of the artists who contributed to the tribute last night was Rita Gardner, who created the role of Luisa in the play.
The Old Professor and I have had a great time renewing friendships — it’s his second trip to Independence — and attending workshops for playwriting, where we both learned new things and networked with fellow playwrights. (You’ll remember that it was at Inge in 2007 that one table reading of my play got it produced in New York. Here’s hoping….) The weather has been great, and even the thunderstorms last night were short and gentle.
We head back to Tulsa later this morning, then on to Dallas, then Miami. Until then….