River City comes to Hartland High when “The Music Man” hits the stage

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Hartland Drama Club presents the award-winning Broadway classic “The Music Man,” Friday through Sunday, April 26-28, and Thursday, Saturday and Sunday, May 2, 4 and 5, at Hartland High School (HHS), 10635 Dunham Road in Hartland. Thursday through Saturday show times are 7:30 p.m., while Sundays feature a 2:30 p.m. matinee.

Meredith Willson’s “The Music Man” follows traveling salesman Harold Hill as he arrives in River City, Iowa, intending to form a boys’ marching band — and then skip town with the money. His scheme goes awry when he falls for Marian Paroo, a librarian who may just turn this charming con man into a respectable citizen. With its toe-tapping tunes, uplifting story and engaging characters, the beloved musical has been a family favorite since 1957.

Hartland Drama Club’s production of “The Music Man” is the culmination of months of planning and preparation, led by Sponsor/Producer Mary Jo Del Vero and Director Scott Usher. For Del Vero, who once played the role of Marian, “The Music Man” holds a special place in her heart. “The show is one of my favorites, because it’s about as classic as a musical can get,” she says. “You cannot beat the marching band sound of ‘Seventy-Six Trombones’ or the harmonies of a barbershop quartet. It is pure, unadulterated Americana.”

According to Usher, the highly entertaining show will not disappoint. “With the voices of Austin Bickel and Cayenne Teeter as Harold and Marian; the loveable characterization of Marcellus, played by Josh Archer; the humorous portrayal of our Pick-A-Little Ladies and the fantastic choreography of the production numbers, I have no doubt our audiences will love rediscovering, or discovering for the first time, this timeless classic.”

HHS junior Bickel says returning to the Hartland stage in his role as Harold has been a wonderful experience. “I’ve had the opportunity to work with so many talented performers,” he says, “and this is definitely a show you won’t want to miss.”

Audiences can expect challenging dances, choreographed by Karen Whittaker, and spectacular vocals, guided by HHS choir teacher Kathi Letovsky. The show boasts an impressive orchestra pit of 36 students, led by Brad Laibly, HHS director of bands, and a talented cast complemented by 13 Hartland elementary and middle-school students. Plus, the musical would not be possible without the dedication of its skilled crews — including the set crew, led by adult mentor Chris Piper, and costume crew, headed by mentor Caitlin Eldred.

There may be trouble in River City, but there will be plenty of smiles when Hartland Drama Club presents “The Music Man.”

Tickets are available online at http://hartlanddramaclub.weebly.com and at the door. Individual tickets are $15 for adults and $13 for students, children and seniors. Group rates are also available.

For more information, contact Mary Jo Del Vero at (810) 626-2360 or via e-mail at maryjodelvero@hartlandschools.us.

“THE MUSIC MAN” CAST INCLUDES: Austin Bickel as Harold Hill; Cayenne Teeter as Marian Paroo; Jaclyn Ellis as Mrs. Paroo; Josh Archer as Marcellus Washburn; Scottie Bell as Eulalie Shinn; Jeremy Lepczynski as Mayor George Shinn; Alayna Miller as Amaryllis; Vaan Otto as Winthrop; Bryce Hendricksen as Olin Britt; Carson Lampert as Oliver Hix; David Samson as Jacey Squires; Adam Brozowski as Ewart Dunlop; Elizabeth Wilkinson as Zaneeta Shinn; Francine Rosinski as Gracie Shinn; Joseph Streight as Charlie Cowell; Jack Matthews (student director) as Tommy Djilas; Kaylee Furge (student producer) as Ethel Toffelmeier; Anabel Persons as Alma Hix; Bailey McPherson as Maud Dunlop; Annah Stang as Mrs. Squires; Tyler Allen as Constable Locke; and C.J. Karinen as Train Conductor. Dance captains are Sierra Tennyson and Abby Smith.

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