Director/choreographer: Debbie Cort
Musical directors: Bill and Betsy Peterson
Lead actors: Daniel Cort (Harold Hill); Megan Lamont (Marian Paroo); Roscoe Sandlin (Mayor Shinn); Barbara Clark (Eulalie Mackecknie Shinn); Tim Moore (Marcellus Washburn); and Michael Weaver (Charlie Cowell)
The plot: In July 1912, fast-talking traveling salesman "Professor" Harold Hill comes to River City, Iowa, a town hesitant of letting strangers in. Harold calls himself a music professor and convinces the town that there is "trouble," and they need to organize a boy's band. Families begin to buy in to Hill's sales tactics, but Marian Paroo, the local librarian and part-time piano teacher is not so easily convinced. This classic musical includes such memorable songs as "Ya Got Trouble," "Seventy-Six Trombones," "The Sadder-But-Wiser Girl," "Lida Rose," "Marian the Librarian," "Pick-a-Little," and "Till There Was You."
The story behind the show: The May River Theatre first presented "The Music Man" in 2004 and wanted to bring it back in honor of Jodie Dupuis, the theater's co-founder who died on Jan. 21. The stage at the Ulmer Auditorium in Bluffton's Town Hall was named the "Jodie Dupuis Stage, Bluffton's First Lady of Theatre," and recently dedicated to her vision, drive and talent.
Director's take: "Who doesn't love 'The Music Man'?," says Debbie Cort. "This is a slice of Americana that offers something for everyone. As always, it's a collaboration of so many to bring this production to the Jodie Dupuis Stage. I am honored to work with almost 40 local actors of all ages and a production team that includes musical directors Bill and Betsy Peterson, costumer Kelly Hart and technical director Scott Grooms. Oh, and I have to give a 'shout out' to our quartet, Vintage Four, one word: amazing."
Behind the scenes: "This is a labor of love for all involved and the rehearsals began on March 6," Debbie Cort says. "While some of our local actors have worked professionally, there are some cast members who are setting foot on the stage for the first time. It is so rewarding to see them embrace the creative process. We are 'painting a picture' for the Lowcountry to experience, telling a story through words and music. It is beautiful to watch it all come together, and there has never been a more important time to keep the theater going so the magic can continue to happen on and off the stage."