The Music Man. It’s a great show for the whole family.

Published: Friday, July 13, 2012 7:00 am By: James Cotter Source: Times Herald Record

ELMSFORD – From Rock City, Iowa, in July of 1912 to the Westchester Broadway Theatre, “The Music Man” with the marching children’s band led by Harold Hill are sounding “Seventy-Six Trombones” this July and August.  The Family Theatre Company’s Production of the 1958 Tony Award winning musical by Meredith Willson is directed by John J. Fanelli with choreography by Greg Baccarini and musical direction by Kurt Kelley.  It’s a great show for the whole family with tunes like “Gary, Indiana,” “Marian the Librarian” and “Till There
Was You.”  The singing and dancing company of 33 are outstanding.

As Harold Hill, the traveling salesman and con-man who comes to town to sell people on music, only to abscond with the money, Scott Bierko fits neatly into the role as did his brother Craig in the 2000 Broadway revival and Robert Preston in the original production and movie.  Like the Pied Piper he charms the naïve townsfolk with his warnings of “Ya Got Trouble” against playing pool and going astray.  He promises that a kids’ band will unite the community with new moral purpose.  He is so convincing he finally convinces himself to reform.

Victoria Lauzun is Marian Paroo, the librarian who suspects Hill from the start but falls for him anyway.  Her “Goodnight My Someone” and “My White Knight,” sung with sincerity in an appealing soprano, prepare for her change of heart.  As her shy younger brother who suffers from a lisp, Brandon Singel plays Winthrop as a born-again follower of Hill who discovers in the cornet his true voice.  His solo “Gary, Indiana” is a winner.  Their Irish mother, Mrs. Paroo, is portrayed by Regina Singel as another fan who soon succumbs to Hill’s musical palaver.  As Hill’s assistant Tommy Djilas, DJ Folk captures the enthusiastic spirit of the band players and leads them on their way with some high leaps and somersaults.

Jeff Raab plays Marcellus Washburn, a former con man who has reformed and settled down in Rock City.  He encourages Hill in his game without letting others know about his past.  His “Shipoopi” enlivens the folks in a spirited hoedown.  Mayor George Simm, played by Peter Ackerman, vigorously opposes Hill since his plans for a pool hall are thwarted.  As his wife Eulalie, Christina Tompkins is on Hill’s side when he gets her to guide a ladies dancing group.  Their daughter Zaneeta, portrayed by Jennifer Jonas, shows her independence by becoming romantically involved with Tommy.  Lexi Staubi makes Amaryllis a perky young piano student with a mind of her own.  As a salesman bent on destroying Hill’s reputation, Tom Ammirato is loud, menacing and mean. 

The Barbershop Quartet features FaTye, Martin Bonventre, Brian Conklin and Jimmy Tate in several rousing numbers: “Sincere,” “Goodnight, Ladies,” “It’s You” and “Lida Rose.”  The last two songs are counterpointed with the ladies’ “Pick-A-Little” and Marian’s “Will I Ever Tell You?“   Sixteen more singers and dancers and a ten-piece band on stage do full justice to the tuneful score.

Set design by Steve Loftus keeps the apron stage open for the flowing dance numbers and songs.  Costumes by George Croom and Maria Castaldo perfectly fit the period country style with long pastel dresses, plaids, straw hats and uniforms.