After not being seen on stage locally for over a decade and rehearsals suspended for over a year due to the pandemic, the group will be reunited again. The Legacy Theater presents Broadway and the movie classic “The Music Man” from Friday to August 1, 76 trombones and all.
“Originally slated for production in July 2020,” said executive director and show director of The Legacy Scott Richardson, “that we’re opening this wellness show right now is essentially a fortuitous event. But what a perfect convergence it is. This story in which all the characters are sort of broken up and an entire city is self-centered and isolated is redeemed just over two hours later. The outlook is changed and the spirits are uplifted. And don’t we all need that right now too?
While many people may be familiar with the story of the fasting vendor forcing locals to buy instruments for an imaginary band and falling in love with the town librarian, the cast is what makes this production unique, said Richardson. . Rich Beans plays Harold Hill (“Newsies” and “Bright Star” from Legacy “) and Diane Dietz (” Mary Poppins “from Legacy,” Violet “and” Bright Star “) as librarian Marian Paroo. “These two wonderful performers bring a warmth and charm to the stage that will delight the audience. And the rest of the cast are packed with the loudest bunch of hooligans ever assembled. Each of them brings their own unique sense of clowning to the stage, and most of us spend the majority of rehearsals laughing. “
Rich Beans recalled that he grew up watching the film version of this production with Robert Preston and Shirley Jones. “I was delighted with it. I loved the charm and arrogance of Harold Hill, the beauty and intelligence of Marian Paroo, and the gullibility and innocence of the people of the small town of River City. I have spent most of my life living in small rural towns like River City, and although people who live in small towns are not saints, they support each other through thick and thin. This earth-grade salt is endearing, and our cast captures it beautifully. I love how the series combines humor, romance, pathos and redemption in one package. “
Although the show contains many memorable songs, some of the performers have their favorites and a calling to be a part of the musical. Diane Dietz liked the production because “Marian Paroo has been on my list ever since I learned the song ‘Till There Was You’ as a vocal student in my teenage years. She’s the show’s ballad singer, singing some of the familiar tunes that will stay etched in your head when you leave the theater.
“Marianne is an independent and determined truth seeker who guards her heart,” continued Dietz. “She strives to improve the quality of life in River City, Iowa, by reading books and exploring music. She is a part-time librarian and piano teacher. She lives with her mother and younger brother, not having much luck in the area of love. I guess Marian and I share some similarities. She’s a dreamer, but she also keeps a very practical sense of herself.
While the cast originally auditioned in December 2019, most of the cast stayed with the production – impressive for a cast of 38 with nearly 200 costumes. “The nicest part of the process,” said Richardson, “has been working with this beautiful group of performers. The cast is a wonderful mix of familiar names and new faces making their Legacy debut. tell that our first rehearsal featured our salespeople for the train scene. The group of gentlemen are between 20 and 70 years old, and when they got to the theater it was like a group of third graders running for them. swings Everyone was really giddy to get out of the house and sing a few songs and be creative with each other.
Beans added, “This pandemic has been difficult for so many people. Many have lost loved ones and family members. Collectively, our mental and physical health has suffered. Therefore, as we come out of this pandemic we all need an escape and this show is the perfect escape. It reminds us that in the midst of all this suffering and bickering, there is still good in the world. The music is still there if we are willing to come together and listen to each other. As Harold says, ‘I still think there’s a band, kid.’ “
When: July 9-August 1. Performances 7 p.m. Wednesday-Thursday, 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday
Or: The Legacy Theater, 101 E. Lawrence Ave., Springfield.
Tickets: $ 25 in advance, $ 30 daytime show, $ 23 for seniors and children on Wednesday and Thursday with advance purchase only.
Visit www.AtTheLegacy.com or call 217-528-9760.