Sunday, July 14, 2013

MARVELOUS “MUSIC MAN” AT UCONN



   

Con men, swindlers and scoundrels are painted with a thick brush of black tar and chicken feathers that are well deserved.  They take advantage of senior citizens and children and everyone in between.

    Bravo to the Connecticut Repertory Theater  on its last summer production at the University of Connecticut of Meredith Willson’s family classic “The Music Man,”  playing until Sunday, July 21 in Storrs at the Harriet S. Jorgensen Theatre.  March yourself right over for tickets to this wonderful, joyful tale of a thief, the fast talking traveling salesman, Professor Harold Hill, played by a smooth and suave Barrett Foa, known for his computer and crime solving skills on "NCIS: Los Angeles." Hill convinces the town of River City, Iowa that the only way to save their youth from Trouble with a capital T is to create a boys' band.
   
The high stepping shenanigans are off and running as soon as the dubious Professor, in colleagues with his old partner (Richard Ruiz),
enters River City and tries to hoodwink the Mayor (Steven Hayes) and his wife, (Gianna Yanelli), the sweet librarian Marian, a delightful, sincere and skeptical Courtney Balan, and her mother (Mary Cadorette). Soon the town has bought everything the Professor is ready to sell from barbershop quartets to dancing groups.  Only Marian the librarian is not ready to join the Hill fan club, initially immune to Hill's mesmerizing ways.

    The choreography by Cassie Abate, who also doubles as talented director, is top notch and the musical score is packed with gems.  The Wells Fargo Wagon is delivering the goods and you’d best be ready to accept delivery. The colorful rainbow of sets by Michael Anania and plaid, gingham and calico costumes by Lisa Loen  are worth the trip to Storrs.
  
 Grab the family and introduce them to a cute miss Amaryllis (Rebecca Mack)  as she courts her shy beau Winthrop (Elijah Saddlemire).  The
old-fashioned fun is nonstop, the dancing is infectious, the songs  are classics and the cast gives it their all. 
  
 For tickets ($10-45), call the CT Rep at 860-486-2113 or online at www.crt.uconn.edu.  Performances are Tuesday at 7:30 p.m., Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and matinees Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m.
  
 Watch a spellbinder, who doesn’t know the territory and doesn’t have any credentials, win over a town and give it and you an outstanding evening of theater.  76 trombones trumpet out a triumphant show! Don’t miss it! Straw hats off to the CT Rep!

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