Frederick Theatre Proudly Presents
Book, music, and lyrics by Meredith Willson
Story by Meredith Willson and Franklin Lacey
Presented by International Thespian Troupe 4391
on April 21, 22, 29, and 30
at the Frederick High Auditorium, 5690 Tipple Pkwy.
There will be a twenty-minute intermission.
This performance has been approved for all ages, though it does include scenes with suggestive dialogue and displays of romantic affection.
Please refrain from all flash photography, as it may disturb the actors and fellow patrons. Any video or audio recording of this performance is strictly prohibited.
The Music Man is presented through special arrangement with music theatre international (MTI). All authorized materials were also supplied by MTI. www.mtishows.com
Credits & Bios – Cast
The Children of River City
Credits & Bios – Pit
Credits & Bios – Tech/Crew
Bios – Directors & Staff
Scene 1: On the Rock Island Train
“Rock Island” — Charlie Cowell and Salesmen
Scene 2: Morning in River City
“Iowa Stubborn” – Townspeople
“Trouble” — Harold Hill and Townspeople
Scene 3: The Paroo Family Home
“A Piano Lesson” — Marian and Mother Paroo
“Goodnight My Someone” — Marian and Amaryllis
Scene 4: The July Fourth Celebration at Madison Gymnasium
“Colombia, Gem of the Ocean” – Eulalie and Townspeople
“Trouble (reprise)” — Harold Hill
“76 Trombones” — Harold Hill and Townspeople
“Ice Cream/Sincere” – Olin, Oliver, Ewert, and Jacey
“Sadder but Wiser” — Harold Hill and Marcellus
“Pick-a-Little, Talk-a-Little” — Eulalie, Maud, Ethel, Alma, Mrs. Squires, and Ladies of River City
“Goodnight, Ladies” – Olin, Oliver, Ewert, and Jacey
Scene 5: Afternoon at Madison Library
“Marian the Librarian” – Harold Hill
Scene 6: River City, one week later
“My White Knight” — Marian
Scene 7: The next day
“Wells Fargo Wagon” — Townspeople
Scene 1: Saturday evening at Madison Gymnasium, a week later
“It’s You” – Olin, Oliver, Ewert, and Jacey
“Shipoopi” – Marcellus and Townspeople
“Pick-a-Little, Talk-a-Little (reprise)” — Eulalie, Maud, Ethel, Alma, Mrs. Squires, and Ladies of River City
Scene 2: One week later, the day of the social
“Lida Rose” – Olin, Oliver, Ewert, and Jacey
“Will I Tell You?” – Marian
“Gary, Indiana” – Winthrop, Marian, and Mother Paroo
“Lida Rose (reprise)” – Olin, Oliver, Ewert, and Jacey
Scene 3: The footbridge, sunset
“Till There Was You” – Marian and Harold Hill
“Seventy-six Trombones/Goodnight, My Someone” (reprise) – Harold and Marian
Scene 4: The Ice Cream Sociable at Madison Gymnasium
Scene 5: The footbridge, an hour later
“Till There Was You” (reprise) – Harold
Scene 6: The center of town, minutes later
“Finale” – Company
A Note from the Directors
It’s the first read thru. Our newly cast actors are sitting around a circle of tables in the Studio Theatre. The show starts with a train whistle and launches into a rhythmic recitation that is the granddaddy of the quick and quippy strains of Hamilton all of them love to sing. The song “Rock Island” resolves and, after a moment of silence, someone says what everyone is thinking:
“I don’t know what any of the words in that song mean.”
The blessing and curse of The Music Man is that it is a classic. Set in 1912, the show is a reflection of Meredith Willson’s youth in a town very much like River City in the years before two World Wars and a Depression changed American life forever. 110 years removed from the setting, the change is overwhelming: forget knowing terms like “demijohn,” “button hook,” and “thimble-rigger,” only a couple of students had ever ridden an actual train before and knew how a train moved. We soon had to teach them about bunting and bloomers, pianolas and pince-nez, cloches and cracker barrels.
All the while, a nagging thought was in the back of our minds: can our audience relate to this show?
1912 only looks like a peaceful year of halcyon days in comparison to the decades that followed. In reality, it was the epicenter of an era of change. After the American Civil War, westward expansion became western settlement as industry conquered the eastern cities and railroad tracks snaked across the frontier. As railways created easy transport for goods, “tank towns” that grew up around water stops for the trains. River City is one of these young towns.
1912 was a time of exciting new technologies: instead of scooping half-broken crackers from a barrel, Nabisco’s U-Need-a Biscuit in its cardboard box and wax paper provided a perfect cracker every time. The telephone was replacing the telegraph, and cities were starting to add electric lights and address numbers to homes (though these wonders wouldn’t reach River City and similar cities until the 1920s). The United States was finally contiguous, with the statehood of Arizona and New Mexico giving the flag 48 stars.
But not everyone was happy with such sudden social change. European authors like Honoré de Balzac were publishing novels that too frankly spoke on human relations for most families. Grocery stores started carrying tobacco and alcohol substitutes like Bevo and Cubebs that were legal to sell to children but encouraged addictive activities. New commercial goods and technology were replacing the old industries, causing anxieties among workers (like our aforementioned salesmen). And worst of all, the game of pool that had been banned in 21 states was now a popular entertainment.
The parallels between 1912 and today are strong. Just as the women of River City challenge the presence of Balzac in their library, parent organizations and politicians are clamoring nationwide over texts they don’t want in school libraries. Just as the parents worry their child may smoke a Cubeb cigarette or read adult material in the salacious magazine Captain Billy’s Whiz-Bang, parents today are concerned that their teens may start vaping or find adult material online. Modern technologies like solar panels and electric vehicles have great potential to change society, yet we need to consider the oil and gas workers seeing their industry shrink.
While set all the way back in 1912, we see The Music Man as a very modern tale, and after a couple years of social isolation and massive change, is (in our minds) the perfect way to portray how a community like ours can flourish in the middle of such divisiveness and anxiety: by embracing new ideas and their potential for good, by coming together on community projects, and by seeing the best in everyone.
Our show has shown us this firsthand, with donations of money to our musical from several community businesses. Our pit holds not just students but professionals and preschool teachers, all lending their talent to our orchestra. We have an amazing slate of child actors from all over the Tri-Towns that prove that our future is bright. When we got permission to bring parents in the building to help, they came rushing to build the set, feed the performers, and help us keep track of all the little ones. While we couldn’t be prouder of our achievements with this show, they don’t feel like they belong to just us, but everyone who has come together to bring Meredith Willson’s vision of the past to life.
This isn’t a classic because it is old: it’s a classic because it always feels new. We hope that you enjoy our love letter to our wonderful community.
Chris and Anastasia DeJulio
Scott and Linda Beeker
Keith and Traci Lorimer
Martin & Rose Parr
Ken and Carli Siders
The Frederick Scout
St. Vrain Theatre Company
The Skyline High Theatre Department
Dr. Russell Fox and the FHS administration team
Dr. Don Haddad and the SVVSD district administration
Generous Support Provided By