The muse in the Music Man

Jubilant performance wows audience

Celine Gossage, Staff Writer

The Theatre Department’s latest production, The Music Man, is a joyful experience about the magic of music and its effect on the small town of River City.

The musical tells the story of con man Harold Hill, who plans to dupe the town of River City, Iowa into a moneymaking scheme by organizing the youth of town into a marching band. His plans begin to falter though when he falls for the local librarian; and he not only witnesses a change in himself, but also in the people of River City.

The sets and costumes are a spectacle to behold. Throughout parts of the musical, the actors encourage the audience to get involved in some of the songs, such as the performance of “Ya Got Trouble,” in which Harold Hill attempts to stir up a problem within the town and the residents begin to become concerned about their children. Audience members are inspired to join the townspeople of River City by following along with the characters in their hand motions.

Each scene is a charming portrayal of the residents of River City, as Hill slowly changes the way they think and feel about their town. The music transforms the town by bringing the people closer together, uniting them under one cause.

Harold Hill, played by Trevor Hoffmann, is a joy to watch. It’s easy to see how he tricks the people of River City into going along with his plan. It’s like he was meant to play this role. From his incredible dancing abilities to his facial expressions, Hoffmann is able to capture the essence of Harold Hill’s character. With his charismatic and smooth talking wit, Harold also begins to change Marian’s own view on the world.

When Marian witnesses the way Harold is able to open up her ten year old brother, Winthrope (adorably played by Annelise Ethington) who suffers from a lisp, all Marian can see is the good that Harold inevitably does for the town and her little brother. Marian, played by Sidney McNulty (who is also played by Alanna Weatherby on other nights), gives a breathtaking performance of “Till There Was You,” in which she admits to Harold how much of a difference he’s made in her life. The moment is one of the most romantic in the musical and is the driving force in changing Harold’s character when he realizes he’s in love with Marian.

As a whole, the cast of the musical brings to life the heartfelt and jubilant themes of the musical on stage. This is in part thanks to the wonderful talents of the cast. They shine during the song “Shipoopi” in which the youth of River City are enthralled by the music and take such joy from it. There is so much energy and excitement bubbling from the actors, that it’s hard not to want to join and dance.

Overall, the Santa Rosa Junior College theatre department never fails to disappoint in their productions. At times it feels as if you’re watching a professional production– not at all the caliber you’d expect from a community college. “The Music Man” was a joy to witness. It will make you feel enraptured by the magic of music and how it can change your life.