The Music Man at the Cockpit in Court Summer TheatreBy Laura & Mike Clark • Aug 8th, 2006 • Category: Reviews
Listen to our review of Cockpit in Court Summer Theatre’s production of The Music Man [MP3 5:57 1.7MB].
Laura: We saw the Cockpit in Court Summer Theatre’s production of The Music Man. Cockpit in Court is sponsored by The Community College of Baltimore County in Baltimore, Maryland.
Mike: The Music Man was written by Meredith Willson. It is a musical play, the story of Harold Hill, a swindler who travels from town to town swindling townspeople. He ends up in a small town in Iowa. He tries to sell them band uniforms and band instruments so the boys in the town can have a marching band and stay out of trouble. Unfortunately for his scheme he falls in love with the local librarian. It will have to be seen if he will go through his scheme or if he will have a change of heart.
Laura: I really enjoyed this show. It was really well done. Everybody had a lot of energy. You could see a lot of emotion on their faces. Not only when they were interacting with other cast members, but also their dance numbers were really well done. I enjoyed it very much. A lot of upbeat energy.
Mike: This was really a good show. It was almost a professional show. The line definitely blurred between a community effort and a professional effort.
Laura: The main character, Harold Hill, was played by Ken Kemp. He did a really good job. His dance numbers were very well done. His singing voice was ok, but I really liked his emotion. His relationship with Marian the Librarian was really good. The opening line when he’s practically stalking her and she gives him the brush off I thought was really well done. It set the tone that think she was going to play hard to get.
Mike: The role of the Librarian, Marian Paroo, was played by Kimberly Hart. At first I didn’t think she had quite enough fire to her. She was a little too reserved I guess. A librarian you would think of as reserved. She was just too accepting that she didn’t have a husband. She didn’t seem real frustrated or upset by that. She did real well talking with her mother about how the townspeople didn’t want to listen to her.
Laura: I thought at first she was reserved. “Marian the Librain” was the song that Harold finally got through to her. She came out of her shell a little bit. That was the song where she fell in love with him.
Mike: Do you think her character changed a lot after that scene? She did cover for him a bit in that scene when she was talking to the mayor.
Laura: I saw a change in her from the beginning when she was first there. She was very reserved, very strict, almost uptight, not wanting to let Harold Hill in at all. During the scene in the library was when she decided he might not be so bad. I think she fell in love with him. Later when she could have gotten him in big trouble, she tore the page out of the library book that talked about the conservatory that Harold Hill supposedly went to that never existed.
Mike: It was interesting watching her change her mind about men and Harold Hill. That was pretty effective. The scene at the end, at the foot bridge was really nice and sweet.
Laura: The set was really well done. I would say those were professional set changes that went on. There were quite a few sets, but everything was on rollers and brought in and taken off extremely smoothly. There was no lull in the music that was playing throughout the performance. I was really impressed by that. I thought they did a great job with that.
Mike: One thing that I thought was really great was the scene in the Paroo’s house. They showed the different characters in the household. From where we were sitting, we were sitting on the side, you could see behind it and you could tell it was a porch on the other side of that set. I said to myself, “Oh, later they’ll just reverse that whole piece so they have only one piece to worry about, but it’s actually two sets.” A short while later Marian had a song. She sat in the window. People came out and actually rotated the entire thing right then on the stage and poof, she was sitting in the window of the house looking out. That was a great scene change.
Laura: The costumes were also really well done. Again, very professional looking, fit the period of 1912 or thereabouts. The young boys had knickers up above their knees. The long dresses. I thought it was really well done.
Mike: In the first act we were siting over on the right side of the auditorium. The sound was a little muddy. There were a few songs where we couldn’t quite understand the words. I really couldn’t hear “Rock Island.” That was the scene at the beginning of the show on the train. They did a good job with it, but unfortunately where we were sitting it was muddy. After the intermission we sat in the center at the back of the auditorium. It sounded superb. The sound was very crisp and clear. I think that was simply because we were sitting where we could hear both sets of loudspeakers equally. If you do go to this venue try to sit in the middle section and not on the left or right edges.
Laura: Cockpit in Court produced five shows this season: The Full Monty, Plaza Suite, Peter Pan, The Music Man, and An Inspector Calls. As we check their website and find out their shows for the 2007 season, we will definitely get them up on our website and plan to attend some of their shows next season because The Music Man was really well done.
Mike: And now, on with the show.
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Laura & Mike Clark started ShowBizRadio in August 2005 because they love live theater. They each have both performed in and worked behind the scenes in DC area productions, as well as earned a Career Studies Certificate in Theater from Northern Virginia Community College. Mike & Laura are each members of the American Theatre Critics Association, and Mike is a member of the Online News Association.