You may not recall at the moment, but once you see Harbor Playhouse's 2014 season opener, The Music Man, it's almost guaranteed that you will remember every note from the classic musical, opening Friday, Jan. 24 at 7:30 p.m.
The Music Man, script, music and lyrics by Meredith Willson and Franklin Lacey, follows con man Harold Hill as he arrives in the small town of River City, Iowa and poses as a boy's band instructor, organizing the band, selling instruments and uniforms, and swindling the stuck up, naive Iowa townspeople. Enter Marian, the town Librarian (and piano teacher). Marian's on to Harold Hill, and while she doesn't know exactly what he's concocting, she doesn't trust him nonetheless. But after helping her younger brother with his lisp and awkwardness around others, Marian begins to see Harold differently, and the two begin to fall in love.
"It's one of the best, better known musicals in literature. It's well loved and probably the best known piece from Meredith Willson. It's a period piece, that may or may not be accurate, but it's certainly entertaining, and while it's not near to being what we might consider politically correct, it's very tongue-and-cheek," said Dr. Kenneth Williams, associate professor of music at Texas A&M University-Kingsville, and the show's music director. "The music is very accessible and tuneful. Everybody knows "Seventy-six Trombones" and "Goodnight My Someone" and "There Were Bells." Those tunes became standards for anybody to do, especially with jazz bands, or any kinds of performances."
The show, directed by veteran Harbor Playhouse show runner Sarah Contreras, a professor of Speech Communications at Del Mar College, kicks off the 2014 season at the Harbor Playhouse with a bang, as the Playhouse wanted to involve the audience not just in the song and dance nature of the show, but in more creative ways as well.
"We have some excellent events surrounding the show, and they're all themed to the musical. There's an ice cream social that happens in the actual show, and we're going to turn around and do a Sundae Sunday," said Curtis Reed-Lemoine, The Music Man's choreographer. "During the first Sunday performance, we'll actually have a sundae bar where the audience can join the cast in an actual ice cream sociable after the show."
Other events planned are a valentine's dinner, and a picnic reception after the opening night performance. These events will add an extra special energy to an already outstanding musical, which has attracted more than eighty volunteers from across the Coastal Bend to help bring it to life.
"It's one of those golden age musicals with big song and dance numbers, colorful sets, and colorful costumes," said Reed-Lemoine. "We're hoping that is going to draw people to the theater, to kick off the season in high fashion."
The Music Man will begin its five week run at the Harbor Playhouse on Friday, Jan. 24 at 7:30 p.m. Performances are on Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m.; Sundays on Feb. 9, 16, & 23 at 2:00 p.m.
"Everybody should come because they're going to remember."