Hale Centre Theatre presents the iconic Broadway and film blockbuster, The Music Man, set to run through June 9 on the technologically-advanced Centre Stage in the new Mountain America Performing Arts Centre in Sandy.
“The Music Man serves up a delicious slice of American pie if you will,” said Sally Dietlein, HCT vice president and executive producer. “It’s a colorful, frothy, joyful show that teaches how to get along with people and to have faith when it doesn’t seem rational. This play has beautiful themes of the importance of communicating and working through issues to reach that happy ending.”
The Music Man is the American musical that has captured audiences for generations. The plot comes from a story co-written by Franklin Lacey and Meredith Willson and the book, music and lyrics were all penned by Willson. The musical burst onto Broadway in 1957 where it ran for 1,375 performances and won six Tony Awards. The Broadway original cast album won the first Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album and spent more than 240 weeks on Billboard charts. The musical opened on the West End in 1961 and became a popular American film in 1962. The story of The Music Man carried on to the next generation with the 2003 TV movie adaptation seen by millions of viewers.
“I’ve always enjoyed the throwback to Americana of The Music Man and could quote the entire movie when I was young,” said Gary Sorenson, music director. “The iconic songs feature tight harmonies written like a barber shop quartet. Our cast of 31 performers has mastered the music and learned to trust each other with the harmonies. The cast members’ passion for the show is felt whenever they speak, dance or sing.”
During the early Twentieth Century-Midwest, a traveling con man named Harold Hill appears in River City. He poses as a music professor looking to establish a boys marching band in town and convinces everyone to buy all uniforms and instruments from him. Once he receives payment, Hill plans to make a quick getaway and move on to the next town to continue his scam. As he becomes acquainted with the town, Hill realizes he cares for the people and falls in love with the librarian, Marian Paroo. Hill is torn between staying and risking the town learning the truth or leaving and forgetting about the place he wants to call home.
Hale Centre Theatre’s The Music Man is cast with talented Utah actors: Keith McKay Evans and Addison Welch as Harold Hill; Cecily Ellis-Bills and Rachel Woodward Hansen as Marian Paroo; Parker Burnham and Ryder Mason as Winthrop Paroo; Lydia Oakeson and Christine Bernards as Amaryllis; Chris Brown and JaNae Gibbs Cottam as Mrs. Paroo; and Christian Johnston and Matt Baxter as Marcellus Washburn.
Producing the musical is Sally Dietlein with Jim Christian directing. Jennifer Hill Barlow is head of choreography and Gary Sorenson is the musical director. Josh Roberts is creating large-scale sets complemented by Adam Flitton’s light design and Dan Morgan’s sound design. Mandee Shaffer is fashioning costumes and Krissa Lent is on hair and make-up design. Michelle Jensen is overseeing properties design and Jamie Sanduk is providing production assistance.
The Hale will present more than 60 consecutive performances of The Music Man for the 2018 Mountain America Credit Union Season of Entertainment. Performance times are 7:30 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and matinees Saturdays at 12:30 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. No children under the age of five are permitted in the theater. Ticket prices are $40 for adults and $20 for youth ages five through 17.
For ticket information call 801-984-9000, go to www.hct.org, or visit the box office at 9900 S. Monroe Street in Sandy City.
CAPTION: Ryder Mason as Winthrop Paroo, Rachel Woodward Hansen as Marian Paroo and Addison Welch as Harold Hill in Hale Centre Theatre’s production of ‘The Music Man.’ Photo courtesy of Hale Centre Theatre