Cedarville’s production of “The Music Man” prompted many laughs and a standing ovation from the audience during its premiere February 2.
“The Music Man” is a story about change, growth and learning to enjoy life, and the characters demonstrate this in several different ways.
Professor Harold Hill, aka the “Music Man”, begins as a self-centered travelling salesman who only cares about money. Freshman Robbie Lindmark portrays his character in the beginning of the story as quick-thinking, smooth talking and confident in his abilities. As the story progresses, however, Hill becomes more vulnerable as he realizes that he is falling in love, and Lindmark introduces the audience to a less sure, more authentic side of the character. In the end, Hill’s bravado is gone, and he chooses love and honesty over money and deception.
Marian Paroo (Rachel Rowland) sees the need for change when she realizes her need to look beyond her initial impressions of people. Rowland portrays Marian as frustrated with the stubborn River City townsfolk and aloof when she interacts Hill; however, when she is alone, a softer side of the character who is longing for love is revealed.
The people of River City, especially Mayor Shinn (Stephen De Jong) are “Iowa Stubborn,” but as Hill throws a wrench into their set way of life, they learn to take a step back, and to sing and dance together instead of gossiping and quarreling. De Jong’s portrayal of Mayor Shinn is an example of one of the townsfolk changing, as the character goes from being stubborn and comical to being willing to admit that he was wrong.
One of the characters who changes the most, aside from Hill, is Winthrop Paroo, Marian’s little brother (Jonathan Kimble). Winthrop begins the story as a shy boy who is brooding over the death of his father and avoids talking because of his lisp. When Hill befriends him, however, Winthrop begins to overcome his shyness, to the delight of Marian and Mrs. Paroo, and through his example Marian realizes how much she appreciates Hill.
An interesting aspect of the set and staging is the way that it is designed to help the audience feel included in the story. Part of the set for the town is built out beyond the stage, and the actors come down the aisles several times, as if the audience is an extended part of the town. This not only brings the audience closer to the action, but also acts as an invitation to consider the ways that the characters change and the importance of slowing down to enjoy life.
“The Music Man” is a heartwarming show that reminds its audience through lively songs, laughs and dancing that there is always hope for change and time to enjoy life. “The Music Man” is a two and a half hour long production is a must-see for audience members of all ages. Be sure the catch the final three performances this weekend at 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 10 and 2 p.m and 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 11. Tickets can be purchases at the information desk in the Stevens Student Center or online at https://www.cedarville.edu/ticketinfo.
Kellyn Post is a sophomore English major and an Arts and Entertainment writer for Cedars. She is happiest when drinking tea, listening to music, and reading old books.