Harold Hill (Andrew Wilson) captures the crowd's attention during one of his charming performances in "The Music Man," opening this week. This El Dorado Musical Theatre production features two casts. Village Life photo by Pat Dollins


Join the fun in River City

By From page B1 | April 23, 2014

Seventy-six cast members and 76 trombones — all a part of El Dorado Musical Theater’s spring production “The Music Man,” will take the stage at the Harris Center for the Arts in Folsom April 25 through May 11.

The award-winning Broadway show takes place in River City, Iowa, where con man Harold Hill breezes into town to persuade the townsfolk to purchase band instruments and uniforms for the boys’ band he has no intention, or ability, to organize.

Marian Paroo, the prim and proper town librarian, sees through Hill’s lack of musicality but keeps quiet when he helps her young brother. As Marian and Harold fall in love, each must choose how they will deal with Harold’s deception.

It’s the second time in EDMT’s 13-year history that “The Music Man” has been performed.

“It’s great for a large cast,” said Debbie Wilson, director, choreographer and founder of EDMT. “There are a lot of good ensemble numbers and we have 10- to 19-year-olds in the cast, so it is good for all ages. ‘Music Man’ is a classic part of American literacy.”

There are two casts to cover all 13 performances at the Harris Center, the River Cast and the City Cast. Eleven of the older boys at EDMT are in both casts, which can make for some interesting scheduling issues for parents but seems to work out well for the actors, according to “Music Man” producer Alicia Soto.

“We had 132 actors in the cast of our fall production, ‘Peter Pan,’ so this feels easy,” said Soto.

“Show all your teeth — some of your parents paid a lot of money for those smiles,” called Wilson as the City Cast rolled into “Iowa Stubborn” during rehearsal.

Professor Harold Hill is played by 18-year-old Andrew Wilson, a veteran of 40 productions.

“I’ve played lead before but nothing like this genre. This is a wonderful show — it’s allowing me and forcing me to grow as an actor,” said Wilson.

His favorite part of the play is the footbridge scene where Harold realizes his love for Marian and must decide if he wants to change his con man life.

“It’s a pivotal scene because so much can happen,” said Wilson.

Marian the librarian is played by both Julia Adams and Olivia Kaufmann. Kaufmann is an 18-year-old Oak Ridge High School senior. This is Kaufmann’s last EDMT show and her first leading role.

“It’s definitely scary but also very exciting — I’ve surprised myself,” said Kaufmann, who has appeared in 18 EDMT productions.

Of her character, Kaufmann said, “I had to find common ground between Marian and I and create a story for her. She’s a person who doesn’t let the rest of the world see how great she is. You don’t see the real Marian until you see her with her family and see how much she loves them.”

Kaufmann will be going on to Baldwin Wallace University to major in musical theater when she graduates in May.

Jillian Curry, a senior at Oak Ridge, will also bid EDMT farewell after her performance as Mrs. Paroo, Marian’s mother who is an Irishwoman.

“This is my 30th production,” said Curry. “The accent was hard for me but YouTube really helped with that.”

To play the funny and kindhearted mother, Curry had to think about her family and bring out the caring aspect of mothers. Leaving EDMT is bittersweet, said Curry.

“This was our childhood and we’ll carry all the things we learned into college with us,” said Curry.

For 10-year-old Emily Hobbs, this is her sixth show at EDMT.

“I’m the mayor’s youngest daughter, Gracie, and I follow him around a lot,” said Emily.

She also had to get into character as Gracie is a “good kid” which is not as Emily describes herself in real life.

River City’s mayor is played by Ryan Overeem, 17, in his first EDMT performance.

“I ‘ve been in a lot of productions at Oak Ridge but this is amazing and a lot of fun. It’s much different than high school. There is more focus on dancing. I had to learn to tap dance just for this show,” said Overeen.

With memorable songs like “Ya Got Trouble,” “Goodnight My Someone,” “Seventy-six Trombones” and “Till There Was You,” this musical brings you back to the slower pace of a small town where everyone knows everyone and rumors are rampant.

The energy and verve of the two EDMT casts will make sure everyone enjoys living in River City, if only for the night, and there are plenty of opportunities to see those teeth in this energetic and fun performance of “The Music Man.”

Cast: Andrew Wilson, Julia Adams, Olivia Kaufmann, Dylan Gray, Jillian Curry, Ryan Van Overeem, Anjie Rose Wilson, Micah Long, Zack Collins, Justin Harvey, Brandon Karrer, Connor Ricketts, Drew Matthews, Kylie Joerger, Nick Ribadeneira, Zach Wilson, Nicole Sevey, Hunter Clary, Nittany Biggs, Hannah Davis, Stephen Knoble, Maya Ribadeneira, Emily Hobbs, Emma Reh, Emily Ziegler, Madeline Kramer, Taylor Walczykowski, Kyra Schneider, Samantha Teter, Emily Martorana, Clara Whetstone, Kelly Maur, Claire Soulier, Madison Sykes, Emme Sorgea, Asten Fallavollita, Anna Makarewicz, Abigail Petree, Brooke Bollengier, Andrew Stokhaug, Chase Franklin, Angelo Aceves, Farah Abou-Taleb, Aurora Giacobbe, Hannah Tufts, Brigette Dupre, Isabella Dondershire, Core Minch, Isabella Makarewicz, Emily Fritz, Jessica McCloskey, Emma Magnuson, Jordan Soto, Jessica Garver, Kelsey Fairchild, Jordan Clary, Kiki Iden, Joshua Davis, Kira Marchek, Katelyn Minnie; Lana Wright; Kira-Raye Bertram; Laura Roberts; Lizzie Meggs; Liam Roberts; Mackenzie Krch; Madison Jantzen; Owen Whetstone; Preston Cox; Riley Price; Rachel Nielsen; Selma Gebhardt; Seth Marchek; Sofia Grimenstein; Vistoria Fay; Taylor Baker.

Vocal director is Jennifer Wittmayer. Costumer is Christine Martorana.

What: “The Music Man”

Who: El Dorado Musical Theater

Where:  Harris Center for the Arts, 10 College Parkway in Folsom

When: April 25 at 7 p.m., April 26 at 2 and 7 p.m., April 27 at 7 p.m., May 2 at 7 p.m., May 3 at 2 and 7 p.m., May 4 at 6 p.m., May 8 at 7 p.m., May 9 at 7 p.m, May 10 at 2 and 7 p.m., May 11 at 2 p.m.

Tickets: $18 to $28, premium $36, bargain night (May 4 and 8) all seats $14.75.

Information: edmt.info, harriscenter.net or call the box office at (916) 608-6888

Wendy Schultz


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