YMMV / The Fantasticks

  • Cargo Ship: In some productions the wall is performed by a woman, sometimes during the love songs between Matt and Luisa the wall might stare sadly at Matt with jealousy.
  • Family-Unfriendly Aesop: The play delivers the hard but true moral that sometimes you can never appreciate what you have until you lost it ("Without a hurt, the heart is hollow"). Matt realized living on the edge in excitement and adventure is only fun until you fall off that edge. Luisa can't understand what it feels like to have someone mend her heart until someone breaks it first.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: The song "Try to Remember" after 9/11. It was actually sung at many memorial events, including at Ground Zero in December of 2001, just three months after the attacks.
    • Wall Street Journal columnist Amy Gamermann recalled attending a performance a mere three days after the attacks. By the end of the song, she was in tears. So was one of the actors.
    • The same article draws parallels between the opening scene where the Mute swings from a pole and throws paper squares into the air to the bits of paper that filled the sky around Ground Zero all day after the Twin Towers fell.
  • Magnificent Bastard: El Gallo, but as stated under Family-Unfriendly Aesop, for a good reason.
  • Memetic Mutation: For a time, it was common for audiences to call for Mortimer to "Die again!" at some performances.
  • Nightmare Fuel: The mask El Gallo gives to Luisa in "Round and Round" makes her see Matt's pain as entertainment. By the end of the song, El Gallo is forcing the mask to her face.
  • No Budget:
    • About eight actors needed, a piano, and one harp. Gallo describes some of the scenes to us in poetry instead of using props or settings, and their moon is made of cardboard. The cardboard moon became such an iconic feature that it's now a traditional prop for the play. Subverted, though, in that royalties are far more expensive than many comparable musicals due to the relatively high prices of the outfit which happens to license it for production.
    • In-Universe, the budget for a first class rape is reduced to near zero - hence the jobs for Henry and Mortimer, as opposed to good actors.
  • Tear Jerker: "Try to Remember". Listen for yourself, set to several images of Orbach throughout his career.
    • Also "They Were You."
  • Values Dissonance: Even within the context of the story, Luisa's father is especially put off at El Gallo's insistence of using the word "rape" in place of the less vulgar "abduction." More recent productions side with the father and, at the very least, limit El Gallo's used of the word in favor of "abduction."
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/YMMV/TheFantasticks