Blind Brook's Scott Bierko debuts as Harold Hill in Westchester Broadway Theatre's 'Music Man'

Published: Monday, July 9, 2012 7:00 am By: MICHAEL IACHETTA Source: Rye Brook Westmore News

Great Scott!

When Rye Brook native Scott Bierko makes his Westchester Broadway Theatre (WBT) debut on Friday, July 6 as fast-talking traveling salesman Harold Hill in Meredith Wilson’s multi-Tony Award-winning musical “The Music Man,” the singer-songwriter-theatre teacher will be following in giant familial footsteps stretching from regional theatre in and around Port Chester to Broadway, Hollywood and beyond the grave.

Scott’s father, Rex, for example, was one of the prime movers behind the local Harrison Players amateur theatre group—his mom, Pat, was a former president of the Players—and there were always Broadway show tunes playing on the Bierkos’ Rye Brook living room stereo—including, of course, “Seventy Six Trombones,” “Gary, Indiana” and “Till There Was You” from “The Music Man.”

Scott’s younger brother (by two-and-a-half years) Craig, 47, has gone on to Hollywood, Broadway and TV stardom in roles ranging from one of Sarah Jessica Parker’s love interests in “Sex and the City” to former heavyweight boxing champion Max Baer in “The Cinderella Man.” He made his Broadway debut as Harold Hill in “The Music Man” in a 2000 Broadway revival (and played Sky Masterson in “Guys and Dolls” a few years later).

The late Blind Brook teaching great George C. Trautwein, who taught chorus and directed the school musicals, was something of a “surrogate father” as well as an inspiration to the Bierko boys. Both Bierkos were among the many Blind Brook alums who worked behind the scenes to help make the George C. Trautwein Theatre at Blind Brook High School a reality.

A lot had to happen before Scott Bierko, soon to be 50, got the chance to make his WBT debut in The Family Theatre Company’s production of “The Music Man,” running through Aug. 26 at Elmsford’s WBT, the longest running Equity theatre in New York State.

“I actually played Harold Hill in an abbreviated version of ‘The Music Man’ when I was in the fifth grade—it was between me and another kid and I remember I was so nervous I actually took my first professional singing lesson to help me get the part in the final audition at the Ridge Street School,” Scott recalled shortly before one of the final rehearsals for “The Music Man’’s opening night.

“But we were always listening to Broadway music at home, and I was maybe two-and-a-half years old when my parents started taking me to rehearsals for Harrison Players productions—same with Craig,” Scott remembered. “We made our stage debut together as the newsboys in a Harrison Players production of ‘Gypsy’ when I was in the fifth grade. And we were always hanging around the theatre as kids helping paint sets and doing backstage stuff like that for as long as I can remember.”

The esteemed Trautwein really came into the Bierko boys’ life as what Scott describes as “a surrogate father.”

Their parents had given them a taste for theatre. But when they divorced, Trautwein really became an influence