The Fantasticks is a 1960 musical with music by Harvey Schmidt and lyrics by Tom Jones. It tells an allegorical story, loosely based on the play "The Romancers" by Edmond Rostand, concerning two neighboring fathers who trick their children, Luisa and Matt, into falling in love by pretending to feud. The fathers hire traveling actors to stage a mock abduction, so that Matt can heroically seem to save Luisa, ending the supposed feud. When the children discover the deception, they reject the arranged love match and separate. Each then gains disillusioning experiences of the real world, seen in parallel fantasy sequences. They return to each other bruised but enlightened, and they renew their vows with more maturity.
The show's original off-Broadway production ran a total of 42 years and 17,162 performances, making it the world's longest-running musical. The musical was produced by Lore Noto. It was awarded Tony Honors for Excellence in Theatre in 1991. The poetic book and breezy, inventive score, including such familiar songs as "Try to Remember," helped make this show so durable. Many productions followed, as well as television and film versions.