‘The Music Man’

Thu, 07/03/2008 - 1:50pm
By: The Citizen

All-American musical takes stage at The Fred

The Music Man

Meredith Willson’s “The Music Man” will be presented by The Twilight Theatre at The Frederick Brown Jr. Amphitheater beginning next weekend.

The show has been a labor of love for many local actors and their families, according to the show’s director Dana Spears. Audiences can catch the show at 8 p.m. on July 11, 12, 18 and 19 at the Peachtree City venue.

Eric Lindsey, a recent Whitewater High School graduate, stars as Harold Hill, a flim-flam man who poses as a traveling salesman. When Harold arrives in River City, Iowa, who should he discover living there but his old friend, Marcellus Washburn, played by Griffin attorney Adam Grubbs. Working together, he and Marcellus plan to scam the town’s unsuspecting parents by selling band instruments and uniforms to them.

Also in River City is the local piano teacher and librarian, Marian Paroo, played by Auburn graduate Laura Bradley of Newnan. Marian is suspicious of Harold Hill’s title of “Professor” and his strange methods of teaching music. She discovers his secrets, but also discovers that below his fancy exterior, he has a heart for the kids in the town.

Marian’s Irish mother, played by Gina Noble, who originates from Northern Ireland but now resides in Fayetteville, thinks that Harold may be Marian’s last chance for happiness. Her shy son Winthrop, played by both Fayetteville’s Benjamin Spears and Peachtree City’s Ricky Macke, makes Harold his special fishing buddy and confidant.

Things go swimmingly for Harold, until traveling anvil salesman Charlie Cowell, played by Sharpsburg’s Rede Hankinson, arrives to expose Harold’s scheme with the help of Mayor Shinn, played by Tony Peregoy. The school board, played by Dr. Thom Sandwich, Greg Whittle, Bryan Lindsey, and Brenden Leonard decide to investigate.

What follows makes “The Music Man” one of the Broadway’s most popular romantic comedies of the 20th century. Famous songs from “The Music Man” include “76 Trombones,” “The Wells Fargo Wagon” and “Goodnight My Someone.” Robert Preston originated the role of Harold Hill on Broadway and also starred with Shirley Jones in the film version.

The director of The Twilight Theatre production of "The Music Man" is local counselor Dr. Dana Spears of Fayetteville. The music director is Barbara Zellner, also of Fayetteville, and Raegan Barnhill is the choreographer. Mike Bradley is the set designer. Costumes were designed and made by Colleen Adams, Gina Noble, Rita Wilkinson, Marsha McCraine, Eilene Balmes and many others.

“Everyone in this talented cast, and many of their families have participated in making the sets and costumes for this production,” said Spears. “It’s truly a community effort. We have rehearsed at several local churches and at The Fred, which is a fabulous place to see theater under the stars. We even have a real covered wagon and several surprises in store.”

The Twilight Theatre is a community theater troupe founded in 2005 by Alison, Jeanne and Andy Chambers of Peachtree City. Previous shows this season have included “Into the Woods,” “Broadway by Candlelight” and “The Importance of Being Earnest.” Twilight was honored last season to be selected as the Fox Five Hot Picks Theater for 2007 after their outstanding youth production of “Les Miserables, School Edition.”

The Music Man is a family-friendly musical for all ages. Tickets are available at the amphitheater box office (770-631-0630) and at all Ticketmaster locations.

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