One of the most popular musicals to come out of the American theatre scene in the last half century, Meredith Willson’s The Music Man will march into the Kelowna Actors Studio May 21 to June 7.
The Music Man debuted in 1957 with a story line and music that are as vibrant and popular today as they were to audiences then. It is the story of con man Harold Hill, played by Nathan Flavel (Shrek—The Musical, Joseph & The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Company) who travels to the small town of River City, Iowa, to earn his fortune. But there’s trouble in River City as Hill, claiming to be a professor of music, convinces the townspeople they need a boys’ band to save them from corruption and plans to run away once the town has paid for the instruments and uniforms.
His scheme falters when he falls in love with the town piano teacher, Marian Paroo, played by Rebecca Field (Les Miserables, Company). Even though she knows he’s a con man, Marian loves him for the hope he has brought to the town. Hill runs into an old friend, Marcellus Washburn, played by Brandon Shalanksy (The 39 Steps), who tries to persuade Hill these “stubborn Iowans” won’t be fooled by the “Professor.” This, of course, piques Hill’s interest and he takes up the challenge with gusto, explaining to the citizens of River City that they have, “Trouble with a capital T that rhymes with P and that stands for Pool.”
River City’s Mayor Shinn, played by Actors Studio favourite Ron Green, is not convinced and asks the local school board members, the barbershop quartet, (Mac Mackay, Mike Nordlund, Mike Finlayson and Marko Prodanovic) to “get the man’s credentials.” But the smooth-talking Hill even wins over the school board and many of the other locals.
“The show is a delight for the entire family,” said Randy Leslie, artistic managing director of Kelowna Actors Studio. “Our cast of more than 45 actors, singers and dancers captures the innocence of early 20th-century mid-America, and generates energy, enthusiasm and talent.”
There are many songs you will recognize including The Wells Fargo Wagon, Goodnight My Someone, Lida Rose, Shipoopi, 76 Trombones and many more.
Also featured in the production are Vuk Prodanovic as Tommy Djilas, newcomer Tristan Voros as Winthrop, Noreen Morrow as Mrs. Paroo, Taylor Baker as Amaryllis, Laura Benty as Eulalie Mackecknie Shinn, Marisa Piattelli as Zaneeta Shinn, Kate Hammer as Gracie Shinn, Chelsea Spittle as Alma Hix, Jennifer Davies as Maud Dunlop, Lindsay Cernak as Ethel Toffelmeier and Emma Butler as Mrs. Squires. Rounding out the cast are Shaun Purves, Lucas Morehouse, Shanelle Connell, Lori Taetz, Madeleine Petraroia, Phoebe Molgat, Madeleine Molgat, Isabella Cotton, Cassidy Hergott, Josie Schmalz, Shiloh Taetz, Caigan Dillon, Ryne Van Vliet Brown, Ryan Nicolai, Tiernan Johnson, Julia Cherrille, Brienne Welton, Sydney Ansley, Harmony Taetz, Emily Dehod and Megan Edwards.
The production is directed by Randy Leslie and Brandon Shalansky with music director Roslyn Frantz and choreographer Jennifer Davies.
The production of The Music Man is produced through special arrangement with Music Theatre International, Inc.