The beloved family musical The Music Man performs November 27 through December 16 and this classic American musical takes audiences on a toe-tapping adventure with fast-talking salesman Professor Harold Hill, who convinces the townspeople of River City, Iowa that they need a band, instruments and uniforms. His plans to skip town with their money come to a crashing halt when he falls in love and has to face the music.
“This show is entertaining for everyone. The tunes are irresistible, the lyrics are funny and clever, and each song pulls the audience in,” said Andrew Kato, the Theatre’s producing artistic director. “The Music Man is a fun-filled tale of risk and redemption, and I think that audience members of all ages will delight in the story’s sense of adventure and classic American sound.”
With book, music, and lyrics by Meredith Willson (and based on a story by Willson and Franklin Lacey), The Music Man features unforgettable songs such as “Til There Was You,” and “Seventy-six Trombones,” and will star 30 multi-talented performers. It will also feature a full orchestra, more than 100 dazzling costumes and a versatile set.
“The Music Man offers some of the most thrilling and innovative scores ever written for musical theatre, including stirring marches, gorgeous barbershop quartets, propulsive character songs, exuberant song-and-dance numbers, achingly beautiful ballads and soaring love songs,” Martino said. “All of these songs are supported by a book that is populated by an eccentric, funny and lovable group of River City citizens – and centered by a truly moving love story.”
Martino, a director and choreographer who works at some of the nation’s best regional theaters, is well known locally for his work on the Theatre’s past productions of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, the Carbonell Award-winning Crazy for You, Beehive and the Carbonell-nominated La Cage aux Folles and The Boy Friend.
The musical became a Broadway hit in 1957, winning five Tony Awards® and running for 1,375 performances. The cast album won a Grammy Award and was number one on the Billboard charts for 245 weeks, and the show's success led to a popular 1962 film adaptation starring Robert Preston.
The Theatre’s version is unique because it is being choreographed by Carbonell-winning choreographer Shea Sullivan, who led the dance moves for Crazy for You at the Theatre. Since the majority of the musical’s performers are “triple threats” – meaning they can sing, dance and act – Sullivan is adding more complex dancing than is usually seen in the production. The Theatre is also including nine local children among the show’s professional cast, cast through a series of high-profile First Step to Stardom auditions during the spring and fall.
The Music Man will star Carbonell-winning performer Matt Loehr as Professor Harold Hill, who made his debut at the Maltz Jupiter Theatre two seasons ago as the leading role in Crazy for You, for which he received the Carbonell award, and also starred as Cornelius Hackl last season in the Theatre’s production of Hello, Dolly! The role of Marian Paroo will be played by Mandy Bruno, who has starred on Broadway in Les Miserables and Patti LuPone’s Gypsy. She also spent six years in the role of Marina Cooper on CBS’s Guiding Light, for which she earned a Daytime Emmy Award Nomination.