The Music Man
by Young Actors Theatre

It looks like an idyllic day in the small town of River City, Iowa for the Fourth of July in the troubleless year of 1912. But they’ve got trouble with a capital ‘T’ when slick con artist Harold Hill arrives on the train. Despite not knowing one music note from another, he promises to solve all the town’s problems by forming a boys band, selling instruments and uniforms to the eager River City citizens desperate to stave off the looming crisis represented by the presence of the first pool table in town. Hill’s planned everything down to the first train out of town following delivery of the uniforms. But he couldn’t plan on the town’s piano teacher, Marion the librarian.

The founder of Young Actors’ Theatre, Jean Isaac, directed this perennial favorite featuring such Americana standards as Seventy-Six Trombones, You Got Trouble, Wells Fargo Wagon, Gary Indiana, and the beautiful ballad Till There Was You. And this time the company did it on the bigger stage of the Lyceum’s Space Theatre – giving her fine cast plenty of room to bring River City alive with all the big, brassy dance numbers choreographed by Sara Roberts.

The cast is led by the always original and flamboyant Nico Ramirez as Mr. Harold Hill casting the city under his spell with his charm and humor. Shauni Gerner lends her lovely and gentle vocals to Marion Paroo’s ballads My White Knight and Till There Was You. They are complemented by an exceptional supporting cast that includes Stephanie Hable as the very Irish Mrs. Paroo who is a hoot as she tries to get her old maid of a daughter married off, and Stephanie’s brother Corey Hable is her son Winthrop Paroo who delivers a spirited Gary Indiana. As Hill’s old friend Marcellus Washburn, Seejay Lewis leads the town kids in the well-choreographed Shipoopi. Emilio Ramirez and the amusing Jessica Isaac are the two young lovebirds Tommy Djilas and Zaneeta Shinn who help lead the big dances. And adding the most laughs throughout were Luke Benning as the befuddled and phraseology-challenged Mayor Shinn and his wife Eulalie played with a host of hilarious physical humor by Johanna Taylor.

The ensemble includes a gorgeous barbershop quartet that had Lori Hable jumping in at the last minute to join Ian Lewis, Scot Dole, and Josh Cavanaugh. The rest do terrific work with the many dances. In a great touch, their inspired singing of Columbia Gem of the Ocean at the town hall gives you an indication that these stuffy Iowans might be very susceptible to the power of music…

Performed through March 18, 2006.

Rob Hopper
San Diego Playbill

~ Cast ~

Harold Hill: Nico Ramirez
Marion Paroo: Shauni Gerner
Marcellus Washburn: Seejay Lewis
Mrs. Paroo: Stephanie Hable
Winthrop Paroo: Corey Hable
Amaryllis: Jenny Laird
Mayor Shinn: Luke Benning
Eulalie Shinn: Johanna Taylor
Zaneeta Shinn: Jessica Isaac
Gracie Shinn: Chelsea Mullen
Tommy Djilas: Emilio Ramirez
Ethel Toffelmeir: Arianna Ramirez

~ Quartet ~
Ewart Dunlop: Ian Lewis
Jacey Squires: Scot Dole
Olin Britt: Lori Hable
Oliver Hix: Josh Cavanaugh

~ Teen Dancers ~
Lonnie Ramirez
Megan Martin
Alex Sanchez
Halli Meth
Donovan Hurst
Stephanie Schmidt

~ Pick-A-Little-Ladies/Chorus ~
Mrs. Squires: Rachel Hansen
Maud: Brook Boehmke
Alma Hix: Emily Scott
Alyssa Reinicke
Kayla Staub
Bristyl Hartwell
Johanna Taylor

~ Kid Chorus-Band Members ~
Chelsea Mullen
Sierra Goldstein
Nick Hess
Sara Hansen
Clare Willardson
Jacob Gardenswartz
Joey Rearic

Constable Locke: Jacob Stratham

~ Train Scene ~
Charlie Cowell: Donovan Hurst
Conductor: Jacob Stratham
Josh Cavanaugh
Emilio Ramirez
Lonnie Ramirez
Seejay Lewis
Ian Lewis
Scot Dole
Brian Barbarin

Farmer: Scot Dole
Farmer's Wife: Emily Scott

Director: Jean Isaac
Costume Design: Carrie Meth and Pat Kirby
Accompanist: Harriet Szafranski
Set Design: Chris Smith
Lighting: Chris Smith
Choreography: Sara Roberts


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