Mask from The Fantasticks

Mask from The Fantasticks

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Description (Brief)
Worn by the character, El Gallo, this mask comes from the 1996 production of “The Fantasticks.” El Gallo serves as the narrator of the love story between Matt (“The Boy”) and Luisa (“The Girl”), two neighbors who fall in love despite the (contrived) feud between their fathers; the fathers pretend to feud to drive their rebellious children towards each other.
El Gallo participates in a staged “kidnapping,” which “ends” the feud between the fathers; however, all is discovered, and a real feud ensues. Matt leaves to see the world while Luisa stays at home. Luisa asks El Gallo to take her away to see the world too and through a fantasy sequence, El Gallo shows Luisa a preview of her adventures through this mask. The mask obscures any expression of compassion or horror, as Luisa sees Matt in a number of nightmarish scenes from being beaten to set on fire. Luisa hides behind the mask, but it becomes increasingly harder to do as the scenes continue.
The musical opened off-Broadway on May 3, 1960 and ran for 42 years (until 2002), making it the longest running musical in history.
Currently not on view
Object Name
Date made
overall: 17 1/2 in x 7 in x 4 1/2 in; 44.45 cm x 17.78 cm x 11.43 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Gift of Discover Financial Services Card, through Benedicta Lawrence
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Cultural and Community Life: Entertainment
Music & Musical Instruments
Popular Entertainment
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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