MHS students bring classic musical to lifeThe classic family musical “The Music Man” is making its way to Mitchell this weekend. The Mitchell High School production is at 7:30 p.m. tonight and Saturday at the high school auditorium. Tickets are $3 for students, $5 for adults and free for those who have an activity card.
By: Jennifer Jungwirth, The Daily Republic
The classic family musical “The Music Man” is making its way to Mitchell this weekend.
The Mitchell High School production is at 7:30 p.m. tonight and Saturday at the high school auditorium. Tickets are $3 for students, $5 for adults and free for those who have an activity card.
Set in River City, Iowa, the plot centers around con man Harold Hill, played by senior Joel Krause, whose latest scheme is posing as a boys’ band organizer, selling instruments and uniforms before skipping town with the money.
The town’s librarian, Marian, sees through Hill’s charming demeanor. But with the help of her little brother, Marian sees a different side to Hill and the two find a romance that may jeopardize Hill’s ploy.
“It’s a classic,” director Mel Olson said. “It has great songs people will recognize and it’s a family production.”
“The Music Man” became a hit on Broadway in 1957, capturing five Tony Awards. In 1962, it became a feature film, and in 2003, there was a TV remake of the original movie. It has been performed in amateur theaters all across the United States.
A cast of approximately 60 will take the stage Friday. Olson said it’s more challenging directing musicals. Instead of just memorizing lines, there are dance steps and music incorporated into the scenes.
This is the second year MHS has held its musical in the fall. In years past, it was held in the spring, but Olson said there were too many conflicts with the Mitchell Area Community Theatre’s spring musical and with high school show choir competitions.
“Attendance had gone down, so we moved it and had our first sellout in a dozen years,” he said.
Senior Brianna Bernard was cast as the mother of Marian and Winthrop. The role, Bernard said, adds comic relief to the show.
“It’s one of my favorite musicals,” she said. “It’s so classical and beautiful.”
This is Bernard’s second time cast in “The Music Man.” She played a child in the Mitchell Area Theatre production when she was an eighth grader.
In addition to the high school actors, there are a few elementary-aged students. One is 8-year-old Ben Laufman. He was cast as Winthrop, a 10-year-old who is shy and talks with a lisp.
“It’s just a lot of fun,” he said. “And my dad has been in the (ACT) plays before.”
With such a large cast, Olson said every actor and actress has a big moment on stage. And it’s those students who have smaller parts who have added a lot to the performances.
“There’s a lot of kids that have done a lot with nothing,” he said, explaining that facial expressions or exaggerated movements during dance numbers, for example, can enhance the overall performance.
And there are no small parts.
“Every person in this play has a starring moment. It might be a solo; it might be a single line. But everyone has an opportunity,” Olson said.