Music Man has a special place in my heart since it was my high school senior show (I was Mayor’s wife, Eulalie) so I had to stop myself from singing along to all the familiar tunes (Till There Was You, 76 Trombones, Marian, Trouble…) The touching Goodnight My Someone was dedicated to fallen officers deputy Grant Whitacker and Trooper Jeffrey Werda, with an honor guard presenting flowers to their families in the audience during that song.
Blue Light’s cast of 39 enthusiastic “Iowans” was directed by Helen Hart and Daniel Southwell, and well choreographed for non-dancers by Helen Hart and Karyn Koenigschecht. (I especially liked the library “Marian” dance.) The music was beautiful, but prerecorded, and I would have liked to have heard a little more of it to cover the many scene changes, which were quick (5 to 15 seconds) but still created some silent black “gaps” which impeded the flow.
Blue Light “star” John-Weston Hart Franke played a charming Harold Hill, but seemed a little fresh-faced and young to be convincing as the shyster salesman. Greg Martin as sidekick Marcellus was very good, and seemed to have a little more of the con-man in him. Paula Sheynerman shone as Marian, at first stubbornly skeptical, but eventually won over by the spirit-lifting effect of the salesman’s magic on the whole town, especially her withdrawn brother, the cute Wyatt Beasley. Elizabeth Johnson was the meddling Irish mother Mrs. Paroo, and Jeff Kennedy and Rachel Mender brought the humor as the mayor and his wife. Music Director Jack Meloche led the wonderful barbershop quartet, also featuring Doug Phillips, Nico Berroa and Michael Tessin.
Hannah Center was packed for this show, so make your reservations at the website: www.bluelightplayers.com - $15 each, continuing tomorrow…today?! Saturday (We did stop off at the Farewell to Evan party, so this is coming later than usual!) and also next Friday & Saturday — all at 7PM - not 8, so note the earlier time!