Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt (1929-2018) wrote The Fantasticks for a summer theatre at Barnard College. After its Off-Broadway opening in May 1960, The Fantasticks went on to become the longest-running production in the history of the American stage. Their first Broadway show, 110 in the Shade, had a successful run and was later revived on Broadway in a new production starring Audra MacDonald. I Do! I Do!, their two-character musical starring Mary Martin and Robert Preston, ran for a year on Broadway, a year on the road, and is frequently done around the country and the world. (One production, in Minneapolis, played for twenty-two continuous years with the same two actors in the leading roles.)
For several years, Jones and Schmidt worked privately at their theatre workshop, concentrating on small-scale musicals in new and often untried forms. The most notable of these efforts were Celebration, which moved to Broadway, and Philemon, which won an Outer Critics Circle Award and was filmed for television. They contributed incidental music and lyrics to the Off-Broadway play Colette, starring Zoe Caldwell, then later did a full-scale musical version under the title Colette Collage. In 1998, The Show Goes On, a musical revue featuring their theatre songs and starring Jones and Schmidt, was presented at the York Theatre, and Mirette, their musical based on the award-winning children’s book, premiered at the Goodspeed Opera House in Connecticut.
In addition to an Obie Award and the 1992 Special Tony Award for The Fantasticks, in 1999 Jones and Schmidt were inducted into the Broadway Hall of Fame at the Gershwin Theatre, and on May 3rd, 1999, their “stars” were added to the Off-Broadway Walk of Fame outside the Lucille Lortel Theatre. In 2012 they were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
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