The museum will be open Fridays through Tuesdays 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. beginning Sept. 25. Reserve your free timed-entry pass and review our latest visitor safety guidelines.

Mask from The Fantasticks

Mask from The Fantasticks

Usage conditions apply
Downloads
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.
Location
Currently not on view
Object Name
Mask
Date made
1996
Measurements
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
1998.0048.24
accession number
1998.0048
catalog number
1998.0048.24
Credit Line
Gift of Discover Financial Services Card, through Benedicta Lawrence
See more items in
Cultural and Community Life: Entertainment
Music & Musical Instruments
Popular Entertainment
Data Source
National Museum of American History
Nominate this object for photography.   

Our collection database is a work in progress. We may update this record based on further research and review. Learn more about our approach to sharing our collection online.

If you would like to know how you can use content on this page, see the Smithsonian's Terms of Use. If you need to request an image for publication or other use, please visit Rights and Reproductions.

Comments

Add a comment about this object