Theatre Information

Pattonville High School The Music Man

By • Feb 21st, 2012 • Category: Cappies, Missouri

River City will never be the same after a visit from a “swindlin’ two-bit thimble rigger,” better known as Professor Harold Hill. The “every time a bull’s-eye salesman” hit the stage, along with a crowd of stubborn Iowans and traveling salesmen, at Pattonville High School’s recent production of Meredith Wilson’s The Music Man.

Starring Robert Preston and Barbara Cook, The Music Man opened on Broadway in 1957 and won the Tony Awards for Best Musical, Best Lead Actor and Actress, and Best Featured Actor. The story follows the crafty and cunning traveling salesman Harold Hill as he stirs up “Trouble with a capital T” in the town of River City, Iowa. The trickster tries to win over the inflexible town piano teacher, Marian Paroo, while forming a boy’s band despite the fact that he is unable to play music, let alone conduct it. Paroo eventually falls for him when she realizes that through his swindling, Hill has given River City a fresh, positive attitude and a bright outlook towards the future.

Evan Fornachon nailed the role of the fast-talking Harold Hill with stellar vocals and consistent energy throughout. He commanded the stage in big numbers such as “Seventy-Six Trombones” and “Trouble.” Reciprocating his success was Anna Pirrie in the role of the unyielding Marian Paroo, who portrayed the character well with beautiful vocals. The two displayed excellent chemistry during the romantic height of the show, “Till There Was You.”

Also succeeding on stage was Stephanie Vonrax, who superbly displayed the childlike qualities of the young piano student, Amaryllis. Harry Kolmer added a hilarious touch with his outstanding portrayal of the irritable Mayor Shinn. The high energy and comedic styling of Nate Bassman as Marcellus added a nice comedic touch and contrasted the occasionally low energy of the ensemble. The Barbershop Quartet of Josh Eldridge, David Robinson, Luke Morin and Jacob Painter cohesively harmonized throughout difficult songs, adding a fantastic dose of gorgeous vocals.

Notably, the Pattonville High School Orchestra played difficult songs with precision and splendor, creating the brass-band feeling during songs such as “Seventy-Six Trombones.”

Sound provided some issues for the cast, as overpowering microphones at times drowned out the ensemble. Despite the flaws, all major characters were audible when singing or speaking. Some costumes fell outside of the intended time period, but others were spot on. Stage crew was sometimes visible during scene changes, but overall moved swiftly and efficiently. As a whole, the technical crews encountered minor flaws, but still pulled off a difficult show with precision and competence.

Pattonville High School succeeded in bringing the timeless and beloved The Music Man to life with a talented cast backed by an equally capable crew. The Music Man proves that when a traveling salesman, a stuck up librarian and a horde of stubborn Iowans join together, “well, ya got trouble, my friend.”

by Nathan Robert Hinds of Holt High School

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