Theater students will give the audience a peek into small-town life in the American heartland with their rendition of The Music Man.
Thomson High School drama students rehearse The Music Man for a Thursday performance.
Photo by Jason Smith
The Thomson High School production is scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday at the school.
The musical, written by Meredith Wilson and set in Iowa in 1912, will feature a romantic, lively story line and a range of songs.
"There will be something for everyone. Whatever you like it will be there," said Choral Director Janet Bailey, who lives in Evans.
Bailey was a teacher in Columbia County for 16 years before becoming the chorus and drama teacher at Thomson High.
The play is a collaboration among the musical theater class, the Bulldog Players and drama and choral classes.
The production also will feature pupils from local elementary schools, who have parts as townschildren.
"It's a community thing," Bailey said.
Zach Ansley will play the part of Harold Hill, a con-man who enters town to scam money from locals, promising to teach their children music if they put down earnest money on band instruments and uniforms. Zach said he is enjoying the high-energy role, in which "I am always on my feet doing something.
"It's fun, and it's a classic role. Everyone knows who the Music Man is," he said.
His love interest is the town's skeptical librarian, Marian Paroo, the only one to see through the ruse.
Rachel Creel said she finds the role exciting and especially likes the music.
"Goodnight My Someone is my favorite," she said.
Eric Colrud, who is cast as Mayor Shinn, has come out from behind the scenes this year and is having fun with his part in the production.
"I enjoy the fact that he is a goofy character," he said.
Crystal Knight plays the part of the mayor's wife, "who is so loud and obnoxious," she said.
Heather Miller plays the librarian's younger brother, Winthrop.
"He is shy and doesn't talk much. It's a character totally opposite from the way I am," Heather said.
Sonya Freeman-Moss and Courtney Hampton play nosey townswomen, roles they said are interesting.
"I enjoy being a gossip. It's out of character for me. I like the silly songs, too," Sonya said.
Courtney, who has the challenge of a solo, said, "This is a fun experience, and a big change."
Kimberly Adkins, as Ethel, is enjoying her first part in a musical.
"I get to work with a lot of people in the play that I've seen in other productions. It's a great experience."
Erika Hink is cast as the librarian's mother, Mrs. Paroo, and the play also features a male quartet - Torrey Boyd, Stan Kitchens, Jacob Powers and James Allen - which portrays the town's board of education.
"There are some really excellent quartet pieces," Bailey said.
Some musical features include the popular Seventy-Six Trombones, Wells Fargo Wagon, Gary, Indiana, and The Sadder but Wiser Girl.
The Music Man was chosen partly for its toe-tapping music and partly for its broad appeal to all ages.
"It's one of those I've always loved. I've been to New York City to Broadway to see it a couple of times," Bailey said.
Not only is the music lively, but the play also has special significance for her.
"I played the part of Marian when I was in high school," she said.
Other teachers on the Thomson High School staff have either performed or been associated with the popular musical, Bailey said.
Tickets cost $8 for reserve seating and $5 for general admission.
Call 595-9393 for reservations.
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