West Springfield High School The Music ManBy Cappies • Apr 28th, 2008 • Category: Cappies
“Gentlemen, you’ve intrigued me. I think I’ll have to give Iowa a try.” With those words, Harold Hill sets off to try and con the hard-lined, stubborn people of Iowa with his craftiness, shiny instruments, and red-striped crisp new uniforms, in West Springfield High School’s version of Meredith Willson’s The Music Man.
Unbeknownst to many, the original production went through multiple years of development, a change of producers, almost forty songs–twenty-two of which were cut, and more than forty drafts, before finally opening December 19, 1957. Running for 1,375 performances, it won 5 Tonys, including Best Musical.
West Springfield’s show opened with the West Springfield pit orchestra overcoming the difficult musical score to a surprisingly good extent for a high school. As the characters were introduced, it became clear that Kelly Snow, playing Professor Harold Hill, was perfect for his role. He excellently portrayed the smooth-talking schemer. His counterpart, Sara Meinhofer, had a wonderful voice that expressed the cautious but independent character of Marian Paroo. Professor Hill’s old friend Marcellus Washburn (Henry Dodge) brought some comedy to the stage with his jolly demeanor, and Mrs. Paroo (Siri Benn) mastered a stellar Irish accent that stayed consistent throughout the entire show, even during songs.
Supporting ensembles such as the School Board Members (Michael Ariale, Sean Cafferky, John Novalis, Paul Rowley) and the Pickalittle Ladies (Caitlin Jackson, Neva Keuroglian, Rachel Ritter, Megan Showalter) added a lot of pizzazz and energy with their funny antics. The sound (David Woody, Paul Schmidt) was superb, having almost no flaws, which is almost unheard of for high school productions. Well-executed songs, included “76 Trombones” and “The Wells Fargo Wagon,” that had extremely creative and original choreography (Sara Meinhofer).
West Springfield High School did a great job with reenacting the classic musical. With all the gorgeous costumes, talented voices, and innovative dances, The Music Man was definitely a show worth watching.
by Sonya Guerra of Quince Orchard
This article can be linked to as: http://washingtondc.showbizradio.com/goto/2258.