by Lorie Lewis Ham
If you love big, old-fashioned musicals, you will want to go see CenterStage Clovis Community Theatre’s production of The Music Man.
The Music Man is about a con man who travels around selling towns on the idea of having their own band, sells them instruments and uniforms for their kids, then takes off with their money. While the con man’s real name is Greg, he calls himself Professor Harold Hill. This time he’s out to con the residents of River City, Iowa, but he isn’t prepared for the local music teacher and librarian, Marian. While Harold is trying to distract her from ruining his con, he might just find himself falling for her if he isn’t careful, and falling for the town as well. Marian is a skeptical spinster who doesn’t trust Harold until his talk of a band brings her little brother out of his shell for the first time in two years–then she starts to have second thoughts about the charming con man.
This show has a HUGE cast of town’s people, which includes the gossipy ladies of the town, the mayor who immediately wants Harold run out of town on a rail, the mayor’s wife, the council who become a male quartet, a bunch of adorable kids, and more. Harold also runs into a former con man in River City (this is how we learn his real name) who has settled down into a normal life there, but ends up helping Harold out with his con.
Eric Estep does a great job of playing the charming con man Harold, and when he sings “Till There Was You,” his lovely voice could make any gal swoon. Heather Price plays the beautiful Marian, and as always her voice just blew me away. “Till There Was You” is a duet between Eric and Heather, and was easily my favorite song in the show. Darren Tharp is hilarious as Harold’s friend Marcellus and his song “Shipoopi” is one of the funnest songs in the show. I also really enjoyed the four-part harmony of the quartet.
This is an Estep family show as Eric’s wife plays the mayor’s wife, their son Jackson plays Marian’s little brother Winthrop, and their daughter’s are standouts in the ensemble songs. Little Jackson is absolutely adorable and when he sang, or pretty much did anything, the audience ate it up. Young Joy Smith plays a piano student of Marian’s who does a duet with Heather, “Goodnight Someone,” and her voice was also amazing–can’t wait to hear this kid when she gets older. “Goodnight Someone” is another beautiful, sweet song.
There are several fun big musical numbers in the show as well, such as “Marian, the Librarian,” and the well known “76 Trombones.”
So if you love big traditional musicals you better hurry out and see The Music Man for its closing weekend–its final performance is on July 26! It is on stage at the Mercedes Edwards Theater at 902 5th Street in Clovis. Tickets can be purchased at the box office, at the Sierra Vista Mall information booth, or through Brown Paper tickets. More information can be found on their website.
Check out more local arts and entertainment articles in KRL’s A & E section.