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Thursday, June 16, 2005

North Central College to Present "The Music Man" August 4, 5, 6 and 11, 12, 13


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My friend Jim tells me that he has been cast in this production of The Music Man, one of my favorite musicals because it was the first that I was in that was done with near professional onstage and backstage elements. While I had been in children’s productions before, my first exposure to adult community theatre was in sixth grade, when the Beverly Hills University Club Scholarship Foundation presented The Music Man with all the bells and whistles. Never had I seen 10 - 15 people whose job it was solely to do make-up, another 12 to move sets and set pieces on and off stage, a full orchestra, and a Harold Hill and Marian Paroo to set the imagination on fire.

The music from the show is wonderful. Trouble, to my mind, is the first public rap song. It could be sung, but in large part it is not, because it is a salesman’s pitch, a patter, a spellbinding rhythm. And lest you think all the other music dated, The Beatles made Till There Was You a hit record once again, well after the musical had faded from pop memory.

So I am looking forward to this production with some anticipation. Songs like The Wells Fargo Wagon and Seventy-Six Trombones are incredible with a large chorus and this one is likely to be one of the largest choruses you will see for a long time to come.

As part of its Summer Musical Production Program for the Community and Other Visitors North Central College is presenting Meredith Wilson’s The Music Man, directed and choreographed by Brian Lynch with an amazing cast of 154 this is one of the largest River City productions you are likely to see in a theatre! Steve Peebles plays silver tongued Harold Hill who has come to Iowa Stubborn River City to because of the Trouble that has come to River city in the form of a - well that would be telling, now wouldn’t it?

Suffice it to say, that Hill’s powers of persuasion arouse the suspicion of Mayor Shinn, (played by Ben Murray) and the Town Council, who Mayor Shinn sends to get Hill’s credentials, but they are no match for Hill, seller of Boy’s Bands AND Uniforms (of course - the natural aide for the trouble that besets the town) for Hill immediately spots their musical talent and turns them into a Barber Shop Quartet who need only a little Sincere diverting to remember Lida Rose, for them to say Good Night Ladies while Hill sneaks out the back. The Ladies take a shine to Hill but they tend to Pick-a-Little, Talk-a-Little when it comes to others in town who give Piano Lessons.

Hill has other chickens to fry, however, and if you are going to sell instruments and uniforms for a boy’s band and you don’t have a lick of musical training then you have one natural enemy, the town’s music teacher, in this case one Marian Paroo (played by Colette Belanger). Now normally, the local talent is no challenge for a confidence man of Hill’s caliber, but Marian Paroo is no wide eyed innocent gal, no sir! But Hill thinks he is just the ticket for his philosophy has always been The Sadder But Wiser Girl for Me, but be careful what you wish for Mr. Hill.

Fortunately for the plot, Marian the Librarian, despite her steelie eyed expressions, has not given up on singing Good Night My Someone or searching for My White Knight, and, Being in Love is something Marian still longs to do, though the likes of Harold Hill are not her idea of a dragon slayer.

Hill sells the whole town on the idea of a boys band with its Seventy-Six Trombones which then come in on the Wells Fargo Wagon, from perhaps as far as Gary, Indiana?

First Marian and then Harold(?) start to see that It’s You until the Shipoopi hits the fan, and Will I Ever Tell You, is there ever a stir in River City until this amazing American musical comes to its climactic end.

Fans of the musical will know that I’ve taken a few liberties with the order of the songs and the story so as not to reveal too much and to have a little fun with those who know it all by heart. If you haven’t seen this show, you really ought to, and bring the kids, even with what has to be double casting of some of the chorus (though it is a very large theater) this show has some of the most enjoyable and singable songs and melodies from the American Theatre, made even better when sung by a large number of people.

It should also be noted that with a cast this large, tickets won’t last long.

Performance dates: August 4, 5, 6, 11, 12, 13 8 p.m.

North Central College | 30 North Brainard Street, Naperville, IL 60540 | 800-411-1861

Here’s the cast:

Traveling Salesmen:
Sean Roe, Jim Mulqueeny, Garret Lutz, Roger Hendrickson, Jon Ripsky
Mike Frain, Connor O'Leary, Bryson Hoff, and Ricky Lurie

Charlie Cowell Matt Wolski

Conductor George Pradel

Harold Hill Steve Peebles
Mayor Shinn Ben Murray

The Quartet:
Ewart Dunlop Chris Oeschel
Oliver Hix Dave Kokandy
Jacey Squires Mike Sillar
Olin Britt Adam Billman-Galuhn

Marcellus Washburn Dennis Brown
Tommy Djilas Paul Ripsky

Marian Paroo Colette Belanger
Mrs. Paroo Amber Mitchell

Amaryllis Megan C. and Grace E.
Winthrop Paroo Liam B. and Matt Z.

Eulalie MacKecknie Shinn Leslie Lee
Zaneeta Shinn Kelsy Lehn
Gracie Shinn Molly Durava

Pick-a-Little Ladies:
Alma Hix Marilyn DiCola
Maud Dunlop Jill Morrow
Ethel Toffelmier Shelly Crawford
Mrs. Squires Lynn Hoff

Judy Colonero, Cathy Geers, Kristin Kriegbaum
Jeanne Ripsky, Jane Russom, Ellen Stone and
Hillary Jones

Constable Locke Jon Ripsky


Megan C., Paul C. , Brooke C., Connor F. , Natalie G., Rose G.,
Isabelle H,. Olivia L., Melissa K., Betsy M., Emily R., Katie S.,
Amy S., Amanda S., Kristen S., Madison W., and Christine W.

Shelby Bier, Mike Frain, Bryson Hoff, Carrington Konow, Allison Kiolbasa, Garrett Lutz,
Ha Price, Bailey Mitchell, Meghan Mitchell, David Mussleman, Kathy Mussleman,
Sean Roe, Kaitlin Scully, Sydney Sherman , Jaclyn Sirotek , Tyler Sonkin, Leslie Smith,
Elizabeth Frain, Connor O'Leary John Radford and Avery Sipla

Allyssa Allgood, Martin Amesquita, Kathryn Baur, Anna Bax, Alex Benoit,
Jeanne Bonamer, Madeline Brady, Ashlee Brooks, Laura Bueche, Maria Caballero,
Ryan Cap, Judy Colonero Kara Combs Emily Crowe Kristen Eichamer
Grace Etzkorn, Jennifer Foster, Connor Frain, Elizabeth Frain, Michael Frain,
Amanda Garvey, Jennifer Glasse, Corrie Graham, Lauren Grobersk,i Elaine Grief,
Roger Hendrickson, Samantha Hoffman, Savanna Hoffman, Tim Herberger, Allison Hitchcock,,
Maggie Johnson, Erika Kissel, Antoinette Konow, Kristin Kriegbaum, Jaynee Krippel,
Nora Laidman, Richard Laidman, Danica Lantz, Karen Lantz, Kelsey Lehn,
Jane Liddy, Sean Lynch, Colleen Morris, Katie McKay, Michelle MacFarlane,
Julia Michelson, Nikki Miller, Alexandria Moorman, Claire Morley,
Colleen Morris, David Musselman, Victoria Newhuis, Chloe O’Dekirk, Alexandria Oechsel,
Erin Oechsel, Connor O'Leary, Sydney O’Leary, Katie Paulson, Erin Planek ,
Michelle Poulsen , John Radford, Jeanne Ripsky, Sean Roe, Kristen Rohder,
Kira Rysiewicz, Gina Santucci, Sydney Sherman, Kavya Shetty, Avery Sipla,
Pamela Smith, Rebecca Soloman, Elizabeth Steffeter, Courtney Stump, Jason TerMaat,
Courtney Uberas, Mary Venderley, Tiffany Vierra, Lauren Visher, and Victoria Visher

(Apologies in advance for errors or omissions. Data taken from cast web site. Typographical errors may have been introduced in the compositing process. Cast data taken from data published on North Central College website, any whose names are presented here may request quick removal by clicking on words "Smart off" at the end of the the post, in most cases I should be able to update the web page and remove the comments)

For those who have seen the show, or want to go in with a little of the lingo of the times:

Ever have trouble telling your piggins, from your noggins, and your firkins?

Ever wonder what all the fuss was about Chaucer, Rabelais, and Balzac?

Did’ja ever have trouble telling your steelies, from your aggies, your PeeWees or your Glassies?

Then you need someone who can rebuckle your research below the knee! Click and enjoy!

Click here for a Biography and Photo of Meredith Wilson and his Second Wife Rini.

That’s it for this file!

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