The Music Man
by Alpine Union School District

Elise Napier and Nate August Theatre tries to transport you to another time and place through sets, costumes, and characters. But Susan Lancaster-McGourty and the other directors at the Alpine Union School District went above and beyond for The Music Man. They held their show in the turn-of-the-century Alpine Town Hall founded in 1899, thirteen years before the musical takes place. And on Saturday night, the entire cast served the attendees a full dinner of chicken, corn-on-the-cob, biscuits, and lemonade. You could almost swear it was a hundred years ago. Well, except for the cars passing by. And that the lemonade was in aluminum cans. But nevertheless, the incredible effort on the part of the staff and cast successfully put you right in the mood for this classic show set on July 4, 1912. 

That’s the day a certain slick music salesman by the name of Harold Hill came to the no-nonsense town of River City, Iowa. Harold promises to save them all from the terrible trouble the town is in, represented by the arrival of one of those new “pool tables” in their billiards parlor. The only thing that can save them is by getting their young boys involved in the boy’s band he claims he will lead. And as soon as he delivers the goods and collects the cash, he plans on making a dash out of town before they realize he wouldn’t know a musical note if it bit him on the bass. But not all goes as planned… 

Eighth grader Nate August, who last year was the greaser Danny Zuko, is now the slippery Hill. And despite being sick with what would turn out to be appendicitis (he would get operated on after the first weekend, yet still go back on stage for the second weekend), Nate was a charismatic leader of the show’s signature song 76 Trombones. But he was really at the top of his game when playing off of his leading lady – Marian the Librarian. Elise Napier shines as the modest Marian who has both a lovely voice and a great understated sense of humor, and a genuine appreciation for the positive effects she sees going on in the town around her. Nate and Elise work great together, especially in Marian the Librarian when Nate is flirting and teasing her in the library and Marian is getting flustered and disgusted. 

The rest of the cast of fourth through eighth graders contains many young standouts. Danielle Stathas plays Mrs. Paroo with a funny and almost frightening Irish temper that you don’t want to flare. Evan Myres is a determined and nimble-tongued mayor, and Julia St. Clair is his humorously melodramatic wife. Marian’s little brother Winthrop (Isaac Myres) is a hit whether getting excited by his solid gold instrument or singing about Gary, Indiana. Curtis Clark is teenage “troublemaker” Tommy and Lindsey Kraemer is his “ye gads!” girlfriend Zaneeta. The barbershop quartet (D’yani Ybarra, Payton Saksa, Ryan Krantz, and Brennan Thornton) sings a great Lida Rose harmony accompanied by Marian, and Ryan Guaderrama as Hill’s friend Marcellus leads the ensemble in a terrific Shipoopi dance – a challenge in the limited space of the old town hall’s small stage, but one they pull off with great success.

Performs March 15-24, 2007.

Rob Hopper
National Youth Theatre

~ Cast ~

Harold Hill: Nate August
Marian Paroo: Elise Napier
Charlie Cowell: Harry Penate
Mayor Shinn: Evan Myres
Eulalie Shinn: Julia St. Clair
Marcellus: Ryan Guaderrama
Ethel: Tori Pool
Mrs. Paroo: Danielle Stathas
Winthrop: Isaac Myres
Amarylis: Jennifer Kearley
Ewart: D'yani Ybarra
Oliver: Payton Saksa
Jacey: Ryan Krantz
Olin: Brennan Thornton
Tommy: Curtis Clark
Zaneeta: Lindsey Kraemer
Gracie: Angela LaBella
Alma: Shaney Sample
Maude: Brandi Brown
Mrs. Squires: Shanon Peckham
Constable: Nate Saksa
Boy: Ryan Kraemer
Farmer: Lucas Williams
Farmer's Wife: Libby Shields
Stephanie Foster
Kjersti Roberts
Carolina Gould
Gabriella Galea
Amber Blank
Kyleejo Berger
Juliana Miller
Summer Williams
Lindsy Van Pelt
Ashley Bowley
Emily Smith

Susan Lancaster-McGourty
Sandra Bennett
Nicole La Bella
Tim Arends
Accompaniment: Joan Waterworth


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