Normally, within the realm of student theatre (especially high school student theatre), audiences are forced to put up with tepid, watered-down renditions of treasured musicals and plays, and they often leave disappointed and underwhelmed with what they’ve seen.

However, we are blessed to live in Opelika, where arts education is given attention and support – and where the Opelika High Theatre Society’s production of the musical “The Fantasticks” is a shining example of what raw talent and the energy of youth can do when properly harnessed and molded.

From start to finish, the musical is a polished, professional piece in which the ensemble cast of students complement one another as they go about their roles.

They aren’t merely reciting lines and going through choreographed steps; they inhabit the roles they have been assigned and transport their audience into a new and wonderful world of fantasy.

As OHTS director Revel Gholston mentioned in his director’s notes in the show’s playbill, “The Fantasticks” is a beloved musical that also comes with a 200-page manual as to how it must be performed – minute, seemingly insignificant details that add up to produce a transcendent theatrical experience if used correctly.

We are convinced that any audience member, young or old, will be able to appreciate and enjoy this superb show.

Get yourselves over to the Opelika Center for the Performing Arts this Saturday or Sunday for the final performances.

You won’t want to miss this amazing act – and these kids deserve a packed-out house for all of their astounding hard work.