National Youth Arts - ArtsDig - Resource for youth arts

The Music Man
by Justin-Siena Theatre

There’s Trouble with a capital ‘T’ in Napa, California. No, the wine is just fine. The crisis revolves around Justin-Siena High School where slick salesman Harold Hill has arrived on their stage set on July 4, 1912 in River City, Iowa peddling band instruments and uniforms, promising to turn them into a boys band and restore the small town’s sanity before it tumbles into the depths of degradation (as illustrated by the new pool table in town). What follows is Director Matthew Teague Miller’s big and brilliant production by of this classic slice of Americana. 

The cast is led by Jeffrey Gerlomes performing his high school swan song, and doing so with a perfect blend of charisma, political slickness, and a tuba-full of talent. And who is not to be deterred by a broken foot injured earlier during the marching band scene. Except for a huge protective boot, and cast members asking him about his foot (alternately explained by Hill as a trombone accident, a stampeding glee club, etc.), you’d hardly notice it. Not even as he leads the band in the big Ya Got Trouble and 76 Trombones scenes. Or as he talks romance in A Sadder But Wiser Girl for Me with friend Marcellus – a hilarious performance by actor/dancer extraordinaire Michael Starr whose comical body language and goofy expressions keep the audience in the palm of his hand throughout. Or as Harold goes fishing, and then gets hooked, by the intelligent and romantically inclined Marian the librarian, with Annemarie Mendonsa imbuing the role with serene strength, strong emotion when she sees her shy young brother Winthrop (Jonathan Johnson) open up, and stunning vocals highlighted by My White Knight. 

A few other standouts include Isabelle Mieling is charming and humorous as Marian’s pragmatic mother. Sarah Francke is a hysterical Mayor’s Wife complementing her amusingly phraseology-challenged husband Eric Jameson. Their eldest daughter Zaneeta (Mary Gerlomes) is a hoot who relishes the idea of the black hole of Calcutta and gets to spank her real-life brother Jeffrey Gerlomes with a library book. While William Purdue is a heavy hit as anvil salesman Charlie Cowell – a hot head sure to blow a gasket as he gets madder and madder over Harold Hill’s unprofessional tactics, humorously switching between furious shouting and slick wooing when talking with Marian the librarian. 

The ensemble and remarkable choreography by Lisa Clark-Schmeling keeps this show at the highest level from its opening Iowa Stubborn-ess  to the last reprise of 76 Trombones – a mixture of impressive singing, dancing, and characterization including four of the school’s teachers getting into the act and forming a lovable and well-sung barber shop quartet. The students nail their many big numbers, making us feel the comic tension of Trouble, the anticipation of Wells Fargo Wagon, a humorously serious attempt to create a Grecian urn through interpretive dance, the charming and creative choreography of Marian the Librarian, and the pure exhilaration of their 76 Trombones parade and a big, old-fashioned River City Shipoopi party.

Performed April 24 - May 2, 2010  

Rob Hopper

Executive Director
National Youth Arts

~ Cast ~
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Harold Hill: Jeffrey Gerlomes
Marian: Annemarie Mendonsa
Marcellus: Michael Starr
Eulalie Shinin: Sarah Francke
Mayor Shin: Eric Jameson
Charlie Cowell: William Perdue
Tommy Djilas: Christian Say
Zaneeta Shinn: Mary Gerlomes
Mrs. Paroo: Isabelle Mieling
Rock Island Salesmen:
Eric Jameson
Jose Basulto
Michael Starr
Caleb Heine
Christian Say
Alex Powers
Michael Faulkner
Farmer: Caleb Heine
Farmer's Wife: Jennifer Hard
Ethel: Tori Stuart
Alma: Gabbrielle Morrongiello
Maud: Lexi Martin

Pick-a-Little Ladies:
Bridget Abshear
Alexis Calinawan
Emily Christian
Drew Dorsey
Monique Elliot-Smith
Jennifer Hard
Cassidy Hopkins
Deanna Maher
Michelle Schuhnemen

Library Teens:
Sarah Brown
Caitlin Demming
Mary Kate Francis
Mary Gerlomes
Mikayla Weiner
Olivia Mason
Sophia Smith
Sidney Tremblay
Sarah Weakley
Mikayla Weiner
Kelly Williams

Shipoopi Dancers:
Caitlin Demming
Cara Fitzgerald
Maddie Lehrer
Chandler Manasse
Olivia Mason
Lexi Martin
Margaret Martin
Minami Miyata
Lisa Oakley
Michele Schuhriemen
Sophia Smith
Sidney Tremblay
Sarah Weakley
Kelly Williams

Phillip Bartelt
Ali Brown
Adeliz Caldron
Alexis Calinawan
Michael Faulkner
Mercedes Flynn
Zoe Gjestvang
Leonie Haims
Andrea Hallahan
Ciarra Hanna
Lucy Hwang
Jessie Jang
Maeve Kerins
Megan Laird
Stephanie Lovell
Laura Moreno
Jette Nordemann
Lupe Padilla-Aguayo
Sarah Prittie
Elyse Quast
Marley Rudolf
Katie Schloesser
Andie Summers
Hanh Tran
Stephanie Wills

Barber Shop Quartet:
Mr. Myles Ellis
Mr. Jim Day
Mr. Michael Douglas
Mr. Rick Landry

Winthrop: Jonathan Johnson
Amaryllis: Erin McClure

Director: Matthew Teague Miller
Choreographer: Lisa Clark-Schmeling
Music Director: Myles Ellis
Stage Manager: Robert Peatman
Assistant Director: Sarah Francke
Set Design: Lexi Martin
Lighting Design: Tom Durante
Costume Design: Olivia Mason
Sound Design: Sound Expressions



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