Rye Neck High School presents the Tony award-winning “The Music Man” February 26-28 at 7 in the Performing Arts Center.
By Janice Llanes Fabry
Rye Neck High School presents the Tony award-winning “The Music Man” February 26-28 at 7 in the Performing Arts Center. Theater Director Scott Harris promised, “It’s going to be a great show. My hope is that the audience walks out cheerfully singing the songs and enjoys this fantastic story about making music and falling in love.”
The 1957 Broadway hit revolves around con man Harold Hill, played by senior Mikael Bucknavage, librarian Marian Paroo, played by sophomore Rachel Wurzburger, and the town folk of River City, Iowa. It was recreated in a movie adaptation with Robert Preston and Shirley Jones, and later in a television production with Matthew Broderick and Kristin Chenoweth.
“It’s a classic American musical that a lot of people are familiar with. It’s also a great story with fantastic, quirky songs, and a lot of parts,” explained Harris, a veteran actor who performed in the show when he was in high school.
In this production, Middle School Music teacher Caitlin Corvini is the Music Director; High School Art teacher Karen Fontecchio is the Costume Director; and Jesse Pellegrino is the choreographer.
Although he directed the school play in the fall, this is Harris’ musical directorial debut. It was very important to him to feature as many students as possible. He has 41 cast members, 21 of whom have speaking parts, and 73 crewmembers.
“Modern musicals tend to have a small cast and a superfluous chorus, but in ‘The Music Man’ every student involved has a very special part, whether it’s a line or a solo,” he said.
The ambitious production also features the largest set Rye Neck has ever assembled. “The show is very visual. It’s an old school throwback of set building,” noted Harris, who employed Preston Briggs to create massive, elaborate sets.
Senior Shawn Primrose is assisting with painting sets and building props, transforming a harpsichord without legs into a piano. Doubling as the Lighting Department Head, who will be the spot light operator during the show, he remarked, “I enjoy the fact that being in front of the house, I get to see the production come together from the audience’s perspective.”
Hinter Lyon, another senior thrilled with his role as Mayor Shinn, admitted, “I worked my knuckles to the nub to get this role and have been working on my acting non-stop.” With aspirations of being a professional comic actor, he added, “My goal is to win a Grammy, a Tony, and an Oscar some day.”
The students have been rehearsing for about three months. As Harris noted, they give up their free time and are extraordinarily driven. “There’s a good amount of pressure because of the tradition here at Rye Neck of great productions,” he said. “I feel good about the million little moving pieces that come together. I hold the students to a high standard and I want them to enjoy the process and learn.”
Friday and Saturday performances are sold out. Remaining tickets for Thursday’s performance will be sold at the door or check at www.ryeneck.k12.ny.us.