Theater Info for the Washington DC region

Hylton High School The Music Man

By • Apr 24th, 2007 • Category: Cappies

“He’s just a bang-beat, bell-ringing, big haul, great go, neck-or-nothin’ rip-roarin’, every time a bull’s eye salesman – that’s Professor Harold Hill, Harold Hill.” At Hylton High School, Harold Hill cons his way up and down the streets of River City, and through the hearts of the audience in The Music Man.

Written by Meredith Willson, The Music Man is set in fictional River City, where ‘Professor’ Hill is actually a con man, new to town, and looking for some easy money. Harold runs into his old ally Marcellus, and together, they con the entire town.

After over forty drafts, The Music Man debuted on Broadway in 1957 with the cast of Robert Preston, Barbara Cook and Eddie Hodges. Soon after, it moved to the Broadway Theatre where it closed after 1,375 performances. The Music Man was adapted to film twice; starring Robert Preston, Shirley Jones and Ron Howard in 1962 and Matthew Broderick, Kristen Chenoweth and Cameron Monaghan in 2003.

Kurt Hoffman as conman Harold Hill performed the popular show-stopper “Seventy-Six Trombones” with integrity and spark. Sparks flew between Hoffman and Allison Kinney (Marian) in the romantic love song “Till There Was You.” Kinney’s magnificent soprano vocals stunned the auditorium in “Goodnight, My Someone,” “My White Knight,” and “Will I Ever Tell You?”

Jonathan Cuesta as goofy Marcellus Washburn was a blast to watch. From his comic dance moves to his humorous character walk, he was always a spectacle to behold. Cathy Roberds as idiosyncratic mayoral wife Eulalie Mackecknie Shinn wasn’t afraid to shuffle and wiggle her way through her bumbling character part.

Whatayatalk? Whatayatalk? Whatayatalk? The highlight of the production was the Barbershop Quartet of B-Lam Ho, Joe Scott, Jim Smith and Daniel Gonzales. Choreographing and blocking the roles entirely themselves, the four actors handled themselves with humor and aplomb, even turning a mustache malfunction into a running gag. Ironically, Iowa quartet member, B-Lam Ho is an exchange student from Hong Kong studying here this year.

“Uniforms, too with a shiny gold braid on the coat, and a big red stripe . . .” Costumes designed by Carolyn Macleod were simple, yet effective. Everything from feather boas as lady suspenders to oversized, flamboyant hats turned this musical into a rainbow of fun. The “Pick-A-Little” ladies looked marvelous on stage in their coordinating brightly colored skirts.

The Hylton High School orchestra was near-perfect and never over-powered the actors’ vocals. When the boys’ band performed, they marched down the aisle with horns and drums upside down, backwards and inside-out producing an entertaining squeal.

After Harold is made as the conman, there is a slow realization, aided by Marian’s understanding of Harold’s ruse, that the Music Man has truly brought music into the hearts of every boy and girl in town.

by Chelsea Cook of Homeschool ITS.

This review was written by a Cappies high school critic. The Cappies were founded in 1999, for the purpose of celebrating high school theater arts and providing a learning opportunity for theater and journalism students. You can learn more at

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is a program which was founded in 1999, for the purpose of celebrating high school theater arts and providing a learning opportunity for theater and journalism students. You can learn more at

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