Elgin High School's 'The Music Man' a family-friendly crowd pleaser

Posted2/26/2014 6:01 AM
  • Reza Kahn rehearses the lead role of Harold Hill in the Elgin High School production of "The Music Man."

      Reza Kahn rehearses the lead role of Harold Hill in the Elgin High School production of "The Music Man." John Starks | Staff Photographer

  • The cast sings onstage during a rehearsal of Elgin High School's production of "The Music Man."

      The cast sings onstage during a rehearsal of Elgin High School's production of "The Music Man." John Starks | Staff Photographer

Revisit a classic musical this weekend, when Elgin High School presents "The Music Man."

Performances are at 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday, Feb. 27-28, and noon and 7 p.m. Saturday, March 1. Tickets -- $10 or $8 for students and seniors -- can be purchased at the door, or in advance by calling (847) 888-5100, ext. 5103.

This is director Jaclyn Offord's third time directing a show for EHS. The Daily Herald caught up with Offord to find out more about the show.

Q. Why was "The Music Man" chosen as Elgin High School's spring musical?

Jaclyn Offord. "The Music Man" is a wonderful show and always a family-friendly crowd pleaser. (Music teacher) Roz Zager and I have always loved the characters in it and knew that the students here would enjoy it as well. The music embodies everything that American musical theater is all about -- Early American folk style, barbershop, ballad and ragtime. Just an all-around great musical.

Q. For those who haven't seen "The Music Man," what's the plot?

Offord. Harold Hill is a fast talking scam artist posing as a salesman. He convinces the small town of River City, Iowa. that they need a boys' band. He takes their money and usually skips town without ordering instruments or band uniforms. This time, however, he falls in love with the town librarian and ultimately changes his life around and stays to "face the music." We are staying with the original time period of the piece (1912) with period costuming as well.

Q. What have you found most challenging about putting on this show?

Offord. The biggest challenge to this musical are the amount of leads and character development. There are so many things going on with the different factions of townspeople that housing them all onstage is a challenge. Marian and Harold are, of course, the two main leads, but the other characters play a huge role in the development of the story and are a large part of the comedic element that drives the story.

Q. What did you find most rewarding?

Offord. The students are amazing. This cast has so much energy and they are such great actors. They take the stage and pull the audience in with the first scene. The choreography is quite difficult and the kids have really risen to the occasion. "Shipoopi" is my favorite number and will bring down the house.

Q. What do you think audiences will like best about the show?

Offord. There are so many great moments in this show. Harold Hill is a fast-paced character and very engaging. Marian does a great job introducing the ballads; our quartet could literally steal the show with their barbershop singing; Eulalie Mackecknie-Shinn is hysterical as the mayor's wife; Zaneeta Shinn and Tommy Djilas have dance numbers that are beautiful to watch. Amaryllis and Winthrop are adorable as the two main child characters. But the music is what the audience will be humming after the show.

The cast

Elgin: Megan Alexander, Rachel Becker, Joshue Bohrer, Nathaniel Bohrer, Lauren Breu, Richard Childs, Hadley Copeland, Walker Demel, Rose Dimtriyannis, Marilyn Garcia, Janet Gomez, Rosa Gonzales, Paola Hernandez, Kevin Islas, Natalie Kriz, Alicia Laguna, Aileen Ledezman, Brenda Ochoa, Saul Ochoa, Sarah Pfau, Megan Placko, Matthew Quesada, Zachary Rago, Jessica Rusick, Nicole Rusick, Meriyanna Santiago, Miranda Savel, Donnetta Shanklin, Audrey Sheehy, Treasure Smith, Erika Soto, Lilly Woerner.

Bartlett: Austin Bernat, Megha Bhattacharya, Aneri Brahmbhatt, Katie Draus, Talia Fossa, Ellie Hahn, Alicia Heydt, John Hoskins, Michael Kelley, Sabrina Murray, Natalie Pitts.

Carol Stream: Abby Lag, Madeline Lag.

Hoffman Estates: Reza Khan, Sonia Khan.

Hanover Park: Arjele Bureros

Schaumburg: Ieva Bareikaite

Streamwood: Elise Kearns, Megan McLaughlin, Dannah Perryman, Abby Spike, Madison Wiltgen.

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