Twinsburg Community Theatre brings life to 'Music Man' Jan. 25

Article submitted by Martha Franks Published:

The Twinsburg Community Theatre will open its 16th production, "The Music Man," Jan. 25 at 7 p.m. in the Twinsburg High School auditorium. The anticipated show about small-town social norms in 1912 Iowa runs for three straight weekends.

Friday night curtains are at 7 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays are at 2 p.m. Tickets are available at the Twinsburg Fitness Center, the Twinsburg Community Center and online at www.mytwinsburg.com.

There are more than 200 people involved in the show, and almost all are from Twinsburg, Twinsburg Township and Reminderville.

The turnout for auditions was so large that artistic director Shonna Tally Nitzel decided to double- and triple-cast some of the roles. Tally is assisted by director Jim Volkert and musical director Chelsea Selvaggio.

"Where else can parents, teens and kids dress up in costume and sing and dance together in the middle of an Ohio winter?" Nitzel asked.

The part of Mrs. Paroo will be shared Sally Morris and Eve Phythion. Her son, "Winthrop," will be played by three boys -- Sam Gielink, Griffon Wilmott and Shawn McCormick.

At least six parts have been doubled or tripled. This gives more actors a chance to perform in the production, since there are eight total performances.

"The Music Man" is set in a small Iowa town, July 4, 1912. It is a time of innocence just before the cultural explosion of the Roaring '20s. Social mores are guided by Mayor Shinn (Dennis Burby), and his lovely wife, Eulalie Mackecknie Shinn (Ann Nyenhuis).

Everything is under control in the town, as they prepare for the solemn and patriotic festivities of Independence Day, when a traveling salesman bursts on the scene masquerading as a music teacher. The bogus Professor Henry Hill (Mike Turle) is a charming charlatan who begins by stirring up the locals with dire predictions of the effects of a pool hall in the community.

The solution to the problem, he says, is to involve the young people in a marching band complete with uniforms and instruments, with music lessons using the revolutionary "Think System."

When Marian the librarian (Jenna Elmore) catches the fancy of the redoubtable professor, the plot thickens.

First produced in 1956 by Meredith Willson, who wrote "The Music Man," the play was intended to be a Valentine, not a caricature. The humor of the piece depends upon its technical loyalty toward the small-town Iowans of 1912 who certainly did not think they were funny.

The book, music and lyrics were written by Willson. The fast and funny "Trouble," the sweetly romantic "Goodnight, My Someone," and the rousing signature song "Seventy-Six Trombones" carry the story and can move audiences each and every time they ring through the theater. The teens light up the stage when song and dance man Marcellus (Jeff Savoc) and his girlfriend, Ethel (Kelly Swanson) lead the teens in the raucous "Shipoopi," a tribute to the girl who is hard to get.

Grab a seat for this funny and uplifting musical, just before Valentine's Day.

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