ONE WORTHY HIP, HIP HOORAY
It was Abraham Lincoln who once said, ‘You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.’
Team spirit — that’s what Professor Harold Hill (Daren A. Hebert) is really selling to the unsuspecting people of River City, Iowa.
Not a Sousa march or a “think system” or moral uplift for the town’s pool-hall-imperiled youth.
And The Music Man, on now at Stratford’s Festival Theatre, has more esprit de corps in its piccolo-playing pinkie fingers than you might find in the entire bodies of a real brass band.
Donna Feore’s smudge free direction matches the production’s smart look, which is both economical and evocative of Meredith Willson’s affectionate cartoon rendering of early-20th-century Americana.
The familiar tunes here might be Willson’s, but the visuals are a bracing blare of Sousa’s “Stars and Stripes Forever.” A troop of adorable kids and the harmonies of a well-seasoned barbershop quartet soften the effect.
Don’t expect to re-live the cinematic offering of yesterday in this theatrical staging. It has a completely different look and sound the 1962 silver screen offering that came before.
But that’s not the point of a Fourth of July parade of this show, Willson’s one Broadway hit.
Tourists descending upon South Western, Ontario should huddle up and salute Stratford’s happy march down Main Street with a loud and boisterous hip, hip hooray.
THE MUSIC MAN book, music and lyrics by Meredith Willson, story by Meredith Willson and Frank Lacy April 17 – November 3, 2018 TICKETS $45.00 – $163.00 CAST Darren A. Herbert, Danielle Wade, Denise Oucharek, Steve Ross, Mark Uhre, Blythe Wilson, Eric Abel, Gabriel Antonacci, Sean Arbuckle, Aldan Benton, Logan Brideau, Devon Michael Brown, Zoe Brown, Megan Calnes, Mariah Campos, Coltan Curtis, Sarah DaSilva, Christie Desjardins, Stephan Dickson, Alexander Elliot, Henry Firmston, Mark Harapak, Evan Alexander, Bonnie Jordan, Nathaniel Keith, Heather kosik, Stephan Dickson, Bethany Kovarik, George Krissa, Monique Lund, Carlee MacKenzie, Robert Markus, Lily McEvenue, Reid McTavish, Marcus Nance, Trevor Patt, Jennifer Rider-Shaw, Sayer Roberts, Genny Sermonia, Jason Sermonia, Kimberl-Ann Truong, and Thomas Winkler DIRECTOR & CHOREOGRAPHER Donna Feore SET Michael Gianfrancesco COSTUMES Dana Osborne LIGHTING Michael Walton SOUND Peter McBoyle FIGHT DIRECTOR John Stead STAGE MANAGER Cynthia Toushan