Travel back in time to 1912 to the imaginary, sleepy town of River City, Iowa, with Footlighters Theatre Company, as they present Meredith Willson's classic musical, The Music Man, opening July 25 at the Prairie Lakes Theatre. This captivating and timeless treasure, with book, music, and words by Wilson, won five Tony awards, including Best Musical, has enchanted audiences since its 1957 Broadway opening. The Music Man is the story of traveling sales/con man Harold Hill, who poses as a boys' bandleader. His scheme calls for selling expensive musical instruments and band uniforms, and then skipping out before the townsfolk discover his musical education background is phony. Prim librarian and piano teacher, Marian Paroo, sees through Hill, but begins to trust him after he comes to the aid of her younger brother. Hill, in turn, falls for Marian, and risks being caught to be with her. With romance, humor, and a happy ending, The Music Man demonstrates how true love wins out and the goodness of human nature always shines through.
Featuring the unforgettable songs "76 Trombones," "Ya Got Trouble," "Goodnight Ladies," "Goodnight My Someone," and "Till There Was You," The Music Man has been seen around the world on stage, on the big screen, and on television. "We are excited to bring The Music Man to the Prairie Lakes stage," said Cultural Arts Supervisor, Nancy Suwalski. "The best thing about our Footlighters' production is the strength of the ensemble as a whole, but we also have three actors with impressive regional resumes."
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Footlighters Theatre Company's The Music Man features Jason Bowen, as Harold Hill, (credits include the title role in Barnum; Tinman in The Wizard of Oz; El Gallo in The Fantasticks; Berger in Hair and Paul in Barefoot in the Park); Michael Semanic as Winthrop Paroo, (credits include the title role in the Light Opera Works production of Oliver); and Ellie Schnittman as Zaneeta Shinn (credits include Jessie in Annie Get Your Gun with Patti LuPone at Ravinia, young Cosette in Les Miserables and Grace/Fan in A Christmas Carol at Marriott Theatre, and Jojo in Seussical at Drury Lane Oakbrook.
Live music is provided by a five piece band: Michael Goldman, piano; Emily Van Sickel, violin; Ashley DeFrancisco, flute; Nathan Lane, percussion; and Anthony DeFrancisco, trumpet. The Music Man is directed by Ken Preuss, with musical direction by Kedrick Parnam, and choreography by Shawn Quinlan. The show is produced by Wendy Kaplan.
With: Jason Bowen (Professor Harold Hill); Margaret Juravic (Marian the Librarian); Dennis Murphy (Marcellus Washburn); Gerald Nevin (Mayor George Shinn); Amy Ticho (Eulalie Mackecknie Shinn); Pamela Anderson (Mrs. Paroo); Michael Semanic (Winthrop Paroo); Michael Carten, Matthew Evans, Scott Spector, and Tim Walsh (The School Board Barber Shop Quartet); Sydney Anderson, Jenna Hesseln, Rosa Nevin, and Elena Sasso (Pickalittle Ladies); Peter Calba (Tommy Djilas); Ellie Schnittman (Zaneeta Shin); Scott Schwartz (Charlie Cowell); Emma Kaden (Amaryllis); Dennis Murphy (Conductor); Maggie Martin (Gracie Shin); and Lawrence Mason (Constable Locke.)
At the Prairie Lakes Theater, 515 E. Thacker St. Des Plaines: July 25-August 4, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at 7:30pm, Sunday at 2:00pm. Tickets on sale at Prairie Lakes Community Center or online, www.DPParks.org: General admission: $1; Ages 2--17: $12; Seniors (62+) and Military: $14; Groups (15 or more) $12.
For more information call 847-391-5711 or visit www.DPParks.org.