The Music Man Brings The House Down

Zach+Bailey%2C+Nick+Aasmundastad%2C+Ethan+Noyes%2C+Justin+Valois%2C+Alex+Smith%2C+and+Tyler+Spotts+take+center+stage+during+the+production+of+The+Music+Man

Courtersy of Brandon Coon

Zach Bailey, Nick Aasmundastad, Ethan Noyes, Justin Valois, Alex Smith, and Tyler Spotts take center stage during the production of The Music Man

Joshua Bailey, Editor-in-Chief

Ever since Frederick’s production of Newsies was nominated to perform for Colorado Thescon(theater’s equivalent to winning the state championship), FHS has been stapled on the map as one of the best theater programs in the state. Yet, four years have passed since then and the program couldn’t be more different. In fact, only one actor remains from Frederick’s star-studded cast of Newsies: Thomas Beeker. This year, FHS hoped to rekindle that award-winning magic in its production of The Music Man and give Beeker the sendoff he truly deserves. So, just how good is The Music Man?

The Music Man follows the character of Professor Harold Hill (played by Thomas) who ventures to the small town of River City, Iowa, to make a business venture in creating a youth boys band. Only problem–Hill has no experience in music whatsoever, though that doesn’t stop him from success. He possesses infectious charm and charisma that can only make you smile. He casts his charming spell on River City, lulling the townsfolk into buying into his boys band pitch. Meanwhile, he captures the heart of Marian Paroo (played by Bethany Parker) into romance and must overcome his secretive ways to find happiness.

The highlight of the show was Thomas Beeker, who played the role of Harold Hill with both ease and flawlessness. In The Music Man, Frederick’s celebrated actor puts the weight of the program on his shoulders, proving one last time that he is a performer with professional eloquence. He shares the lead roles with Bethany Parker and Micah Wittler. Bethany’s role as Marian cannot be understated. She put on an incredible display of singing so graceful and distinguished that your jaw will surely drop to the floor. The best moments of the show are when Thomas and Bethany share the stage, as their undeniable skill culminates in on-stage chemistry that is palpable. Don’t forget about Micah Wittler, who stole the show in his role as Marcellus Washburn. His enthusiasm and comedic influence on the audience was tangible. Micah shared such natural chemistry with Thomas on stage that you’d forget it was a show you’re watching. Overall, the main core of characters brought the show to life.

Marian Paroo (Bethany Parker) and Harold Hill (Thomas Beeker)

The overall cast–too large in scope to name all of them–gave a passionate performance to compliment the main core of characters. Actors such as Jack Smith (who played the role of the Mayor), Justin Valois, and Tyler Spotts all deliver quippy lines and help set the tone for the feel of the show. While the entire ensemble songs are spectacular, the individual songs steal the show.

There are some ways that the show fails to live up to its predecessors. Newsies was known for fantastic and meticulous musical numbers with jaw-dropping choreography. Starmites became renowned for pushing the boundaries of technical limits and aweing the audience with special effects. While The Music Man doesn’t match the spectacular dancing of Newsies, nor the crazy special effects of Starmites, The Music Man’s distinguishing factor would be the cast. This year’s cast features some two-dozen children between the ages of 3rd -6th Grade. Surprisingly, they fit in seamlessly with the rest of the older actors. Two of the children in particular, Shiloh Wittler and Emma Patterson, play the parts of Winthrop Paroo and Ammeryllis Wilson perfectly.

Winthrop Paroo (Shiloh Wittler) and Ammeryllis Wilson (Emma Patterson)

Overall, The Music Man does not disappoint. The lead roles are as spectacular as ever, and the supporting characters bring the show to life. It’s clear that passion and pride remain within the theater program, and The Music Man matches the quality of any of the top shows in the district.