Annandale High School The Music ManBy Cappies • Apr 8th, 2014 • Category: Cappies
Swindling con men, shiny brass trombones, and an unbeatable “think system” all took center stage in Annandale High School’s pleasing production of Meredith Willson’s timeless masterpiece, The Music Man.
Epitomizing the “Golden Age” of musical theatre, The Music Man opened on Broadway almost 60 years ago and was the recipient of five Tony Awards. It has been revived and adapted numerous times, including two film versions. The story follows the smooth-talking traveling salesmen, Harold Hill (James Barker) as he hops around conservative Midwestern towns, convincing its citizens that a boys’ band, uniforms, and instruments are the answers to all of their problems. At a stop in River City, Iowa, however, the town librarian and piano teacher, Marian Paroo (Gabi Montes de Oca), sees right through his conniving ways.
Leading the show with utter aplomb, James Barker spoke louder than words as the flirtatious con man, Harold Hill. His comedic facial expressions and pleasant vocals distinguished him as a standout performer among the ensemble. Gabi Montes de Oca proved to be an elegant songbird, showing off her beautiful soprano throughout the evening. Her development was distinct and her chemistry with Barker was undoubtedly believable.
The supporting cast also was impressive, with high vocal energy and effervescent stage presence. Trevor Boynton as Mayor Shinn earned numerous laughs as he frequently stumbled over his words. Annie Stout portrayed a maternal and proud Mrs. Paroo, as her consistent Irish accent and impeccable timing made for a memorable performance.
The most terrific aspect of the production was, without a doubt, the Barbershop Quartet (Leif Jomuad, David Furney, Steve Aderton and Michael McLean). These young men harmonized perfectly and added distinct, individual characterizations. Numbers such as “Lida Rose & Will I Ever Tell You?” brought the house down and earned the foursome well-deserved, thunderous applause.
Costumes were designed and assembled with acute precision as vibrant color schemes and well-tailored suits were featured throughout the entirety of the performance. The stage crew was commendable as the majority of scene changes were quiet and timely. Holly Prencipe and Gabrielle Lewis choreographed sharp and well executed dance numbers, such as “Marian the Librarian” and “Ya Got Trouble.”
The cast and crew took its audience on a theatrical adventure with their outstanding vocals and palpable energy. Despite some minor lack of projection from certain ensemble members, it was evident that Annandale’s production of The Music Man was anything but troublesome, instead providing a wonderfully crafted performance.
by Stephen Coakley of Tuscarora
Photos by Georgi Barker, Briar Creek Photography
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