THE MUSIC MANBook, Music and Lyrics by Meredith Willson
Story by Meredith Willson and Franklin Lacey
Rockwall Summer Musicals
Directed by Barbara Doudt
Music Director – Melissa Williams
Costume Design – Maureen Cruz
Assistant Director/Stage Manager – Annie Gray
Rehearsal Pianist – Vanna Duda
Assistant Costumer – Mary Nichols
Assistant Stage Manager – Patrick Bickle
Choreographer – Suzanne Toler
Set Design – Phyllis Johnson
Master Carpenter – Josh Hensley
Dance Captains – Skylar Duvall & Ryan Ramirez
Set Artist – Susan Underhill
Assistant Carpenters – David Johnson & Tom Holgan
Sound Technician – Tyler Payne
Lighting Designer – Tamara Harris
Props Mistress – Palmer Ragsdale
Producers – Judith Head & Roberta Pavlov
Traveling Salesmen – Michael Christian, Garrett Gonyaw, Danny Oursbourn, Ryan Ramirez, David Johnson, Adriel Terrazas, Jack McClenney.
Charlie Cowell – Jacob Thomas
Conductor – Loren Liechty
Harold Hill – Eric Segovis
Mayor Shinn – Jerry McCulley
Ewart Dunlap – Al wall
Oliver Hix – Richard James
Jacey Squires – Dennis Guillion
Olin Britt – Kurtis Williams
Marcellus Washburn – Hunter Lewis
Tommy Djilas – Ryan Ramirez (Announced before the show)
Marian Paroo – Kally Duncan
Mrs. Paroo – Mary Duncan
Amaryllis – Ava Ripp
Winthrop Paroo – Aidan Ragsdale
Eulalie Mackecknie Shinn – Linda Vaughan
Zaneeta Shinn – Tori St. John Gilbert
Gracie Shinn – Sutton Moss
Alma Hix – Deanna Tipton
Maud Dunlap – Kathy Weiss Stephens
Ethel Toffelmier – Tiffany Duncan
Mrs. Squires – Julie Cunningham
Constable Locke – Vance Wittie
River City Teen Dancers – Ben Ashcraft, Joseph Arce, Contessa Barron, Skylar Duval, Maddy Grimes, Madysen Criss, Zoe Murphy, Katie McKinney, Ryan Ramirez, Michael Christian, Garrett Gonyaw, Lane Ward, McKennah Ward, Burkly Wheeler, Wyatt Williamson.
River City Town People – Jodi Chaffin, Kelly Jensen, Erika Warren, Kimberly McClenney, Lindsey Thompson, David Johnson, Jack McClenney, Danny Oursbourn.
River City Kids – Zoe Montgomery, Riley Ragsdale, Maddox Ripp.
OCHESTRA -Under the Direction of Melissa Williams
Flute/Piccolo – Paul Fullington, Andrea Andrade.
Oboe – Noella Barron
Bassoon – Gabrielle Gunn
Eb and Bb Clarinet – Miguel Morales
Clarinet/English Horn – Nathan Daniel Ascano
Bb and Bass Clarinet – Morgan Webb
Trumpet – Scott Benners, Roy Garner, Jacob Ashcroft.
Trombone – Aaron Sisemore, Zackary Braun, Dawson Ward.
Percussion – Austin Brannon, Avneesh Babar.
Piano – Vanna Duda
Violin – Roxanne Turner, Sofia Rosales, Maximilian McClenney
Cello – Shari Allison
Bass – Miranda Shanz
Reviewed Performance: 8/11/2018
Reviewed by Chris Hauge, Associate Critic for John Garcia's THE COLUMN
Meredith Willson’s homage to his home state of Iowa tells the story of Harold Hill (Erik Segovia), a flim-flam man who has found a profitable niche by selling boys’ bands to unsuspecting town and skipping town once he gets the money in his hands. After hearing a salesman (Jacob Thomas) on a train say that even a con artist like Harold Hill couldn’t make a sale in Iowa, Harold gets off at the River City station to take the Challenge. What follows is a tale of deception and transformation. Harold Hill moves from seeing the citizens as chumps and the local librarian/Music Teacher (Kally Duncan) as one of a long line of brief dalliances to feeling, for the first time perhaps, the twinges of a conscience. And the rownspeople of River City change also from a place where everyone knows each other but doesn’t necessarily like each other to a town where all are valued. And along the way we get some great music to tap our feet to and hum along with.
As with most musicals, it has a large cast and I would think it would be an impossible task to direct so many people. Barbara Doudt has done an admirable job in pacing the show and in creating good stage pictures with her actors. She understands the energy needed to drive the action and this production exudes it in every scene. The choreography by Suzanne Toler is fun. I especially enjoyed the work in “Marian the Librarian” which goes from library silence to wild dancing and concludes with “Shhhhhhh!). All the group numbers are very well done, and all the dancers shine in “Seventy-six Trombones” and “Shipoopi” to name two more songs.
This is set in middle America, circa 1912, and the costumes, designed by Maureen Cruz, believably take us there with the hats, coats and skirts of the period. I would have been happy with more sets of knickerbockers, but that is my problem. Set designer Phyllis Johnson created a wonderful main street River City with a midwestern feel to it, using backdrops to hide set changes while the action continues allows the show to flow easily from scene to scene. From Mrs. Paroo’s parlor, to the Madison gymnasium, and the simple and elegant foot bridge set, all had a comfortable and welcoming feeling to them. Tamara Harris’ lighting provides the appropriate atmosphere for the proceedings.
The orchestra, conducted by Melissa Williams, kept the show going with flair. With numbers going from the deceptively simple “Rock Island” where the lyrics are spoken to the rhythm of the train to the brassiness of “Seventy-six Trombones” and on to the tenderness of “Goodnight My Someone” and “Till There Was You”, the orchestra supported every song with skill.
Eric Segovis has the necessary swagger and confidence as Harold Hill. Mr. Segovis seemed to emphasize the confidence-man side to the character and sometimes lacked the bluster and energy needed to come across as a “spellbinder”, to use the mayor’s word for him. He is a very likeable actor with a very good voice and he moves with ease and precision. In the end, he won my heart, along with the heart of everyone in the audience. It is a very good performance of a monumental role.
The town librarian and music teacher, Marian Paroo, is beautifully played by Kally Duncan. Going credibly from an icily reserved critic of Harold Hill in the beginning to falling in love with him and facing the future with a worldlier view than Harold. Marian comes across as the stronger character because of Ms. Duncan’s performance. This musical has two gorgeous songs in “Goodnight My Someone” and “Till There Was You” and Kally Duncan more than does them justice with her crystal-clear voice. I also enjoyed the duet with Marion’s mother (played with the proper Irish accent by Mary Duncan, Ms. Duncan’s real-life mother) “The Piano Lesson”.
Marion’s brother Winthrop is winningly played by Aidan Ragsdale with lisp and all and sings his two main numbers with gusto. Hunter Lewis is an endearing Marcellus Washburn, a former colleague of Harold Hill (who Marcellus calls “Gregory”) but now he walks the straight and narrow. Mr. Marcellus has a good singing voice and with his energy helps us join in on the fun of the song “Shipoopi”. Linda Vaughan has a wonderful time with the role of Eulalie Mackecknie Shinn, the mayor’s wife. I must commend her and all the women in Eulalie’s dance troupe for some of the funniest dance moves and facial expressions I have seen in quite some time. They were wonderful.
My thanks to the entire cast for providing a strong and heart-felt production of one of my favorite musicals. My wife and I had a lovely evening. I hope this review helps in some small way to get a good crowd for your closing weekend. You certainly deserve it.
Presented by Rockwall Summer Musicals
August 10-12 & 17-19, 2018
August 17 & 18 – 7:30PM
August 19 – 2:00PM
Performances at Rockwall High School Performing Arts Center
At Herman E. Utley Middle School
1201 T L Townsend Dr, Rockwall, TX 75087
For Tickets and Information go to