THE MUSIC MAN Opens Tonight for Pay-What-You-Can

by RoxyRegionalTheatre on July 17, 2015

The set alone for The Music Man is truly beautiful, to say nothing of the performances, which are stellar all-around.

My partner and the director of The Music Man, Tom Thayer, imagined the set, which is the main street of a small town at the turn of the twentieth century. His idea was executed by a phenomenal group of industrious, talented and truly wonderful young people: Jesse Boyle, Addisyn Bryant, Allison Ferebee, Truman Jepson, Jacob Johnson, Rachel Marshall, Sidney McCarty, Lauren Mund, Madeline O’Connor, Abreen Padeken, Tanner Sigears, Georgia Smith, Austin Stewart, Jewel Stewart and Amy Wyer.

Meredith Willson, the composer of The Music Man, has a way of showing a love for this nation which is unique. He depicts a time in America before we knew of world wars, when nobody locked their front doors at night, and when the worst curse words were “so’s your old man.”

Not unlike Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma, Carousel and The Sound of Music but less hard-hitting, less message-oriented and more theme-centered, The Music Man is a sentimental look at a Norman Rockwell America without being saccharine or insincere — apple pie, ice cream socials and church picnics.

The show is full of hummable tunes like “Goodnight, My Someone,” “‘Til There Was You” and the iconic “Seventy-Six Trombones.” It’s not the esoteric mind-boggling Sondheim, nor the sophisticated Cole Porter, but the America it depicts is almost as foreign to audiences today as Thornton Wilder’s Our Town was for my generation. It’s Andy Hardy, Tom Sawyer and Peck’s Bad Boy all rolled into one.

Tonight at 8:00pm, all of our memories of youth and innocence will come back as The Music Man opens for a pay-what-you-can preview. All tickets remaining at the box office will go on sale at 7:30pm for whatever price you are able to pay ($5 minimum). Performances continue through August 22 on Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7:00pm and Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00pm, with 2:00pm matinees on Saturday, July 25 and August 8.

Our annual summer fun-raiser is next Saturday, July 25, at 6:30pm. Hamburgers and hot dogs, courtesy of Edward’s Steakhouse, will be on the grill, accompanied by sides from Whitt’s BBQ. Stealing a page from Oklahoma and the auctioning off of a box lunch, we will be doing the same — only ours will be desserts prepared by the cast and auctioned off by Mayor Shinn. Jackie Ostick (Mrs. Paroo) is making her family’s traditional homemade ice cream, and Mary Malaney (Marian the librarian) is offering her recipe for lemon bars. James Hansen (who last appeared in Mary Poppins as Bert) is making vegan peanut butter and chocolate chip cookies, while John Adkison (Harold Hill) is working up buttermilk strawberry shortcakes. Not only do you get a sweet treat but also the company of the cast member who provided the dessert. Admission to the cookout, which includes the 8:00pm performance of The Music Man, is $40 (adults) and $25 (ages 13 and under).

See you at the theatre!

[John McDonald]

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