Landmark Community Theatre (LCT) will present Meredith Willson’s classic musical THE MUSIC MAN for eight (8) performances beginning April 14th and running through April 29th, 2012 at the historic Thomaston Opera House.
The Music Man is the first full-length community theatre production to grace the Thomaston stage since December of 2010 when the theatre was shuttered after the final performance of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat on December 6, 2010. Earlier this year LCT was award the contract to manage the Thomaston Opera House after a long RFP process, followed by negotiations and finally overwhelmingly approved by a town vote. The Music Man is the first of four community theatre productions LCT will produce this year in addition to managing the day-to-day operations of the facility. Additional one-night events and rentals by other organizations will also be part of the regular offerings throughout the year
Landmark Community Theatre’s production of the Music Man features LCT chairman Chuck Stango as the charismatic con man, Harold Hill, Sybil Haggard Chamerlin portrays Marian “the Librarian” Paroo, while Lucia Dressel plays the lovely Mrs. Paroo. Other featured cast members include Lauren Stango as Amaryllis, Connor Barth as Winthrop, Jean-Marie McGrath as Zaneeta, Robert Bongiolatti as Tommy Djilas, Jimmy Donahue as Marcellus, Jeff Savage as Mayor Shinn and Roberta Coffill as Eulalie Shinn. The production is directed by Robert Bongiolatti, with music direction by Meric Martin and choreography by Cheri Jen Bunger.
THE MUSIC MAN opened on Broadway December 19, 1957 starring Robert Preston as the irresistible con man, Harold Hill, who sings and dances his way into the lives of the innocent folks of sleepy River City, Iowa.. Barbara Cook played Marian. The score features such songs as “Seventy-six Trombones,” “Trouble,” “Till There Was You,” “Pickalittle” and “Gary, Indiana.”
THE MUSIC MAN was based on Willson’s recollections of is own childhood in a small Iowa town. Willson’s friend, Frank Loesser, the composer-lyricist who created such monumental hits as Guys and Dolls and How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, encouraged him to turn his delightful anecdotes into a musical. After working for eight years and creating 30 drafts and 40 songs, Willson crafted his boyhood memories into what is widely regarded as one of the most accomplished works in Broadway history. It lovingly and humorously captured the lost innocence of America at the beginning of the 20th century.
THE MUSIC MAN is the story of Professor Harold Hill and his impact on the sleepy town of River City, Iowa. Hill arrives in that small community on July 4, 1912, with every intention of fleecing the town’s citizens. But even with nothing but the lowest of intentions, he inadvertently brings joy into their lives an into his own life, as well. His most recent ”con” is simple but effective: he convinces a town’s residents he can teach their children to play in a marching band if they buy the instruments and uniforms he has for sale. Then he simply collects the money and escapes without fulfilling his promises. His best laid plans, however, go wonderfully awry when he falls in love with the town librarian, Marian Paroo, who makes an honest man out of the perennial huckster. Trapped by his own love for Marian, Hill is literally forced to face the music when he is made to “conduct” his rag-tag orchestra. While the children can hardly play their instruments, the inner music that Hill and the band bring into the life of the town transforms River City.
The show’s score has its roots in the music of the soft-shoe, of ragtime, of barbershop quartets and of the march – the sounds of the American heartland in the first years of the twentieth century. It is an original, fresh and warmhearted musical about basic American values. Its pace is brisk, its packaging brilliant. Willson’s view of the world was marked by a belief in the inherent goodness of people and the possibility of miracles. Merging the sounds and heart of middle America with the conventions of the Broadway musical, he created a masterpiece.
THE MUSIC MAN will be presented on April 14, 20, 21, 27 & 28 at 8:00pm and on April 15, 22 & 29 at 2:00pm. All seats are reserved. Tickets can be purchased by calling the box office at (860) 283-6250.