When Meredith Wilson, a relatively unknown playwright, published The Music Man in 1957, no one really expected much of it. But Wilson surprised everyone who doubted him as The Music Man became an instant hit. First appearing on Broadway in 1957, it broke previous box office sales and won five Tony awards including Best Musical that same year. The Music Man ran for 1,375 straight performances on Broadway and the cast won the very first Grammy Award for Best Musical Theatre Album in 1959. “This show is particularly unique because it has lasted and lived in the theatre community for over 60 years,” senior Max Ramsay said.
The Music Man features a con man, Harold Hill, played by Ramsay, posing as a boy band’s salesman and Hill’s associate Marcellus Washburn, played by senior Brian Nicholson, promising the citizens of River City, Iowa, a well-trained band within a matter of months. However, Hill is no musician and has no musical talents whatsoever; he plans to get the money and skip town and board the next train heading east. “The Music Man is a compelling tale of deception turned love story that is very enjoyable to watch and be a part of,” senior Heloisa Tebaldi said.
Hill does not expect to meet Marian Paroo, the town librarian and part-time piano teacher played by senior Taylor Litofsky, who attempts to warn the citizens of River City of Hill’s plot to get the money and run. Hill falls in love with Paroo and attempts to woo her but Paroo does not fall for his plan — or so it seems at first.
For the first time since the spring musical in 2014, children are involved in the ensemble and two of the leads feature two sets of kids, one pair of males for the part of Winthrop, Marian’s shy, lisping brother, and one pair of females for the part of Amaryllis, Marian’s young piano student. One pair will play the opening weekend of the show and the second pair will play the following weekend. “Working with younger kids is definitely an experience that I am looking forward to,” Nicholson said.
The musical also features witty characters to the likes of the Barbershop Quartet, played by freshmen Ameya Deshmukh, Aidan Wilbur, Tejas Iyer and junior Matthew Sachs. The Quartet appears out of nowhere to sing a classic tune that is always inappropriate for the situation. Junior Rachel Kershenbaum plays the role of Mrs. Paroo, Marian’s mother, who always seems to have a song for every setting. The pair of junior Sean Klein and freshman Alyssa Herman have perfect chemistry for the roles of Tommy Djilas, a troublemaking young man who is “from the wrong side of town,” and Zaneeta Shinn, the mayor’s oldest daughter, who is undeniable while on the stage.
Junior Zach Cassidy brings his comedic personality to the role of Mayor George Shinn, who is suspicious of Hill and is certainly not afraid to show it. Beside Mayor Shinn is his wife, Eulalie Mackecknie Shinn, played by senior Hannah Bruckheim, who always seems to have a sarcastic comment to share amongst anyone who will listen.
Featuring jazzy songs and finger snapping tunes, the musical is a must see this April. The Music Man will be opening the weekend of April 13, 14 and 15, and the second three part showing will appear the following week on April 20, 21 and 22.