Broadway in Bryant Park 2012: Aaron Carter, John Davidson from The Fantasticks

Aaron Carter, child pop star who now stars in The Fantasticks, Off-Broadway
Aaron Carter, now in the Fantasticks, after Broadway in Bryant Park concert

The cast of The Fantasticks sang four songs at Broadway in Bryant Park, including child pop star Aaron Carter, and new cast member John Davidson gave a short funny speech.

Davidson says in the video below that this is the best cast of The Fantasticks ever. This would be tough to determine, given the hundreds of cast members in New York alone, where the original production opened on May 3, 1960 and closed on January 13, 2002 after 17,162 performances – and then was “revived” at the Snapple Theater Center just four years later, August 23, 2006, where it has played ever since.

Still, whether or not the best, the cast is certainly worth listening to.

Aaron Carter in his pre-teen idol days. He was the Justin Bieber of his day.

Aaron Carter, who has been starring at The Boy in The Fantasticks since November, opened for the Backstreet Boys when he was ten years old, Yes, his brother Nick was a member of that boy band, but was already by then singing professionally for three years and now, at age 24, has produced five albums and an EP. He’s also been a regular on television from “7th Heaven” to “Dancing with the Stars Season 9,” as well as in the gossip columns, linked in the past to Lindsay Lohan and Hillary Duff.

But Carter is also a veteran of the theater, having debuted on Broadway in Seussical at age 13.

In a brief interview after the concert, I asked Carter the first stage show he ever saw, and why he is performing in musical theater. (Be sure to notice the unintentional and subtly amusing goings-on behind him.)

John Davidson was a familiar face on television for decades, but he is also a veteran of the stage, debuting on Broadway in 1964 in a short-lived Bert Lahr vehicle called “Foxy.” Davidson was 22 years old and played a clergyman, which seemed apt, since both his parents were Baptish preachers. He starred on Broadway three decades later in a revival of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “State Fair.” In recent years he has been a regular at the Surflight Theatre in Long Beach Island, NJ. Starring in Man of La Mancha, Chicago, A Funny Thing Happened on The Way To The Forum.

Now he is about to return to the New York stage, in “The Fantasticks.”

“I played The Boy when I was 24 years old,” John Davidson says in a speech at Broadway in Bryant Park on July 26, 2012, captured in the video below. “Now I’m 70 years old – and I still have my hair. Hair is the one thing my body can still produce.”

Juliette Trafton and Aaron Carter perform “Soon It’s Gonna Rain” from The Fantasticks, at the Broadway in Bryant Park concert on July 26, 2012

Author: New York Theater

Jonathan Mandell is a 3rd generation NYC journalist, who sees shows, reads plays, writes reviews and sometimes talks with people.

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