By Josh Landry, Wildcats Media
PINEVILLE (LCNews) — Louisiana College’s production of “The Music Man” starts this weekend and continues through next weekend
The Tony nominated musical written by Meredith Willson opens Friday March 16 at 7 p.m. in LC’s Martin Performing Arts Center.
Performance dates for the 1957 Tony-nominated musical are March 16,17 and 23, 24 at 7 p.m. and March 18 and 25 at 2 p.m.
“The Music Man” is a musical comedy about a traveling salesman who is actually a con artist, and he gathers people in the town of Somewhere, Iowa to jump on board with him to create a boy band.
Played by LC senior Jeremy Manuel, “The Music Man” uses what he calls “the think system,” wherein the con man listens to a tune and then is able to play it.
Associate Professor of Theater Tabitha Huffman said the inspiration to perform the play came from band uniforms donated by Pineville High School, which had purchased new ones.
“I got to raid their band closet,” Huffman said. “We have been holding on to the band uniforms because we need them for the boy band in the musical.”
Huffman, who performed in “The Music Man” in high school, is directing the play and starring as Mrs. Paroo, the mother of the main character Marian, the librarian.
Mrs. Paroo “is just a sweet mom,” Huffman said. “She sees this man who has turned her daughter’s eye and tries to coax her into giving him a chance.”
Assistant Professor of Music Dr. Kate Rawls is helping Huffman and other cast members with the play’s music. “My favorite part about the music rehearsals is putting the show together and getting the music to the point where we can have fun with it,” Rawls said. “The play is fun and not difficult.”
Huffman and Rawls usually collaborate each spring as Theater Louisiana College (tlc) and LC Opera present a musical. Last spring’s production of “Fiddler on the Roof” played several nights to sold out crowds.
“The Arts are the ‘A’ in STEM becoming STEAM at Louisiana College,” said Dr. Rick Brewer, president. “A musical play is especially significant in the liberal arts tradition because both music and acting tap into part of a student’s brain not ordinarily accessed in other college courses. Philosophy, history, literature, art and music help us appreciate the ambiguity of the world which in turn exercise our creative muscle.”
Brewer expressed his gratitude for Huffman and Rawls who are “aware of how valuable the Arts are in forming a diverse college experience and a well-rounded student.”
Purchase tickets for “The Music Man” online at ticket-central.org/events. Prices are $5 for LC students, faculty, and staff; $10 for groups of 10 or more; $12 for senior citizens (60 or older), non-LC students, and children; and $15 for adults. Purchase tickets at the door with cash, card, or check. For reservations call the box office at 318.487.7495.