Arizona Theatre Company brings the iconic musical The Music Man to the Herberger Theater Center in Phoenix from Jan. 5-27, 2019.
Directed by ATC Artistic Director David Ivers, The Music Man is based on a story by Meredith Willson and Franklin Lacey with music and lyrics by Willson. The plot revolves around con man Harold Hill, who poses as a boys’ band organizer and leader and sells band instruments and uniforms to naïve townfolk living in the River City Iowa in 2012. Promising to train members of the band, Hill’s plan is to leave town without giving any lessons. When librarian and piano teacher Marian Paroo figures out the scam, her attention and affections turn upside when Harold helps her younger brother, Winthrop overcome his lisp and social awkwardness.
Broadway’s Bill English (Anything Goes, 20th Century) stars as Harold Hill. Manna Nichols (Allegiance and national tour of The King and I) is Marian Paroo and Tucson native Nathaniel Wiley, who is making his professional acting debut at age 9 in the show, is featured as Winthrop.
Among the memorable songs from the show are (Ya Got) Trouble, Seventy-Six Trombones, Till There Was You, Goodnight, Ladies and Gary, Indiana.
Ivers promises surprises and “a wonderfully renewed experience of a show that is wicked, funny, warm, romantic and touching. It is American musical theatre at its best." As part of ATC’s Arizona Artist Initiative celebrating Arizona artists, the cast of 30 includes 15 Arizonans and three of Broadway’s most renowned designers, scenic design Tony Award-winner Scott Pask* (The Pillowman, The Coast of Utopia, The Book of Mormon); Tucson native and pioneering sound designer Abe Jacob*, whose achievements include the groundbreaking rock-and-roll sound system for the 1969 Broadway hit Hair; and fellow Tucson native lighting designer Philip Rosenberg* (Pretty Woman: The Musical, The Elephant Man, Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder) are part of an illustrious creative team. (Artists included in the Arizona Artists Initiative are noted with an asterisk.)
Tickets for The Music Man are now on sale at www.arizonatheatre.org or at the Herberger Theater Center box office. (602) 256-6995.
The Music Man will be followed by Two Trains Running, by August Wilson, directed by Lou Bellamy (Tucson: Jan. 19-Feb. 9; Phoenix: Feb. 14-March 3); American Mariachi, by José Cruz González (Tucson: March 9-30; Phoenix: April 4-21) and Things I Know to be True, by Andrew Bovell, directed by Mark Clements (Tucson: April 20-May 11; Phoenix: May 16-June 2).
I spoke with Director David Ivers about this show and the rest of the year's terrific season for our Valley Views program.