Composer of the world’s longest running musical has died, at 88

Composer of the world’s longest running musical has died, at 88


norman lebrecht

March 02, 2018

Harvey Schmidt’s long run has ended.

In May 1960 he opened The Fantasticks at the Sullivan Street Playhouse. It ran there until 2002, setting a new record for musical shows. Revived in 2006, it ran a further 11 years.

Remember? Try.

Its hit song is indelible.

Schmidt, with his fellow-Texan Tom Jones, also wrote 110 in the Shade.

Harvey Schmidt died in Texas on February 28.

Alias Schmidt and Jones. photo: Henri Dauman



  • Michael Comins says:

    Wonderful tune!

  • Russell Platt says:

    Here’s Orbach in the original cast album, with the more evocative pared-down orchestration. Many a New Yorker (and many, many a tourist) made the pilgrimage to the Sullivan Street Playhouse:

  • Peter Alexander says:

    I saw that, at the Sullivan Street Playhouse, when I was a tender and callow fellow in my 20s, and it was wonderful. I was in the second row, against the back wall, and was just the right age for this lovely, sentimental piece. An indelible memory.

  • Saul Davis Zlatkovski says:

    I performed in that production. The harp part (50 percent of the score) was apparently created by Beverly Mann, the original harpists. While the pay was minimal, the show provided steady work over the years for a number of harpists. The music was thoroughly enjoyable, and his melodies are first class.