Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Wednesday, June 11th

Much to everyone's relief, 'The Music Man' gelled properly at the last minute into quite a good show. It's well paced, entertaining, visually striking and I haven't heard much negative about it at all (other than the usual beefs with the theatre's sound system - something outside of our control). Frank and Leah are on their came as Harold and Marian and the Birmingham News had nice things to say about them and about yours truly as Mayor Shinn. It is a tough role to screw up. It's so well written.

The decision, necessitated by budget, to go with minimalist set, worked. It leaves the stage open for the huge cast, puts most of the visual interest in the costumes and performers, and the use of the sepia photos evokes the time and place so well that no one is bemoaning the lack of the usual dozen rolling wagons carrying houses and libraries and ice cream sociables. The progression of color in the costumes and the projections in the second act also clarifies some of the themes and keeps the wrap up of the romantic plot, which has been deadly in some productions I've seen, moving right along. Especially as the sepia fades into technicolor during the kiss on the footbridge.

Four more performances to go and we are all psyched and we've got good houses who appreciate the material. We did do a special show this past Monday for a group of at risk kids and chaperones that was, to put it mildly, odd. The kids didn't get it much at first as singin & dancin Americana characters have no bearing on their lives or experience, but they started to get it in the second act and were well with it for the finale, cheering on Winthrop and the band as everyone gets their rewards.

Once the show is over, Tommy and I have to hunker down in house mode again. Recent gullywashers have made several new major leaks evident opened up by the construction and some things will need to be redone. I am not looking forward to it.