“He don’t know one note from another—he can’t tell a bass drum from a pipe organ!”
While this may be true of con man Harold Hill (of Meredith Willson’s “The Music Man”), it certainly isn’t true of the Corban University cast and orchestra who’ve collaborated to put on this spectacular show.
The 22-piece live orchestra (directed by Mark Stanek) accompanying Corban’s production of “The Music Man” adds a depth and richness to the show that will transport you from your seat in the Psalm Performing Arts Center to Mrs. Paroo’s front porch, to the quaint town square of River City, and to the little footbridge in the moonlight where . . . well, we won’t tell you what happens at the footbridge in the moonlight.
For those who are unfamiliar with this classic show, “The Music Man” is set in 1912 small-town America (River City, Iowa, to be precise). The citizens of River City are firmly entrenched in their ways. Town meetings are ruled by an uptight mayor (John Crocker) whose passion for order often interferes with his ability to communicate, his effusive wife Eulalie (Kayla Rogers), whose desire for extravagance and culture surpasses what her environment and fellow townsfolk can provide, and a handful of pompous and argumentative school board members.
Meanwhile, the Belle-like Marian Paroo (Brylie Fitzgerald)* is the only person who’s ventured beyond the confines of the small town—at least in the books she reads. Librarian, music teacher, and chronically single, Marian provides a refreshing contrast to the comically stagnant townsfolk—until the appearance of traveling salesman Harold Hill (Ethan Miller)**, who quickly begins to change the status quo.
Will Marian glance up from her books and sheet music and let her passions rule her for a change? Will the townsfolk of River City find a reason to band together, whether to ward off “trouble” or to form a boys’ marching band? We’ll let you find out for yourself.
What we can tell you is that you’ll be enthralled by the sweet, clean, effortless soprano of Marian Paroo, that your foot will tap to the technically-precise, musically powerful, energy-driven ensemble, and you’ll get a bit woozy in your chair when you hear the crotchety schoolboard members cease their arguing and break out into a flawless barbershop quartet.
The costuming is on point (special thanks to Susan Schoaps), complete with iconic, elaborately trimmed hats and full-length 1910s dresses that will definitely be twirling, thanks to striking, playful choreography by Rachel Ost. Stage managing is Emily Axtell, and Director Tamara McGinnis is assisted by Corban alumni Joe Kraft and Nathan Messmer.
And Harold. How could we forget about Harold? He’ll have you almost forgetting he’s a con-man and hoping he struts right down the aisle, gives you a good salesman handshake, and offers to sell you a shiny new brass trombone. Harold, it would seem, is the character who brings “trouble to River City.” But he also seems to bring something else—something that Marian and the other townsfolk desperately need. What, exactly, is the “trouble in River City,” and what ultimately proves to be the solution?
It’s not too late for you to find out!
Visit https://store.corban.edu/collections/theatre-tickets to buy your tickets for next weekend’s shows!
Schedule of remaining performances:
TOMORROW, November 11th, at 7:30 p.m.
Friday, November 17th, at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, November 18th, at 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, November 19th, at 2:30 p.m. (matinee)
*Marian Paroo is also played by understudy Catherine Vessey
**Harold Hill is also played by understudy Jeremiah Speten