Several Abilene area performers and members of the Great Plains Theatre’s youth academy will take the stage Friday when The Music Man opens at Great Plains Theatre.
“The Music Man is our biggest show of this season,” said Mitchell Aiello, artistic and education director. “Our show brings together a group of talented out-of-town, professional actors as well as local community actors and a stellar group of young actors from our youth academy.
“This group of talent has voices, personalities and acting chops that are absolutely breath-taking,” Aiello said. “Bringing the community together is something that I strive to do — bringing joy, excitement, collaboration and love to the sensational members of our home town.”
The musical follows the story of fast-talking traveling salesman, Harold Hill, as he cons the people of River City, Iowa, into buying instruments and uniforms for a boys’ band that he vows to organize — this, despite the fact that he doesn’t know a trombone from a treble clef.
His plans to skip town with the cash are foiled when he falls for Marian, the librarian, who transforms him into a respectable citizen by curtain’s fall.
The Music Man debuts at 7:30 p.m. Friday, July 9 at Great Plains Theatre, located at 215 N. Campbell in Abilene.
In-person live show dates run from July 9 to 11, July 14 to 18 and July 21 to 25. Thursday, Friday and Saturday shows are at 7:30 p.m., while matinee performance are on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m.
“The Music Man is family entertainment at its best,” said Aiello. “Meredith Wilson’s six-time, Tony Award-winning musical comedy with classic songs such as ‘76 Trombones,’ ‘My White Knight,’ and ‘Til There Was You’ has been entertaining audiences since 1957 and is a family-friendly story to be shared with every generation.”
Tickets are on sale now at greatplainstheatre.com or by phone at (785) 263-4574. COVID-19 safety protocols are being followed. Contact the office with any questions. Limited seating is available.
For Aiello, The Music Man has special meaning.
“It was the first show that I was ever a part of as a 10 year old kid and what originally got me interested in theatre and art,” he said. “Since then, the idea that story-telling through live performances has intrigued me and proved to be an essential part of learning and growth.
“Sharing this story with our region is something that I am thrilled to do this summer season,” he said.
“It’s a classic love story with mesmerizing tunes and silly antics along the way, what could be better? This show is guaranteed to have you singling along, smiling from ear to ear, looking to join a marching band, and wanting to share in some quality family time.
“We hope everyone will join us as our 76-trombones march through the theatre,” he added.
Director & Choreographer - Mitchell Aiello
Music Director - Susie Jolink
Stage Manager - Ali Davids
Costumer/Director of Operations - Becky Dibben
Theatre Intern - Harlie Delay
Lighting Design - Kent Buess
Master Carpenter - Jim Wohler Restorations
Properties Master - Jean Wohler
Harold Hill - Gregory Gore
Marian - Rachel Weinfeld
Marcellus - Corbin Eakes
Mrs. Paroo - Susie Jolink
Jacey Squires - Bear Manescalchi
Ewart Dunlop - Brayden Krikke
Oliver Hix - Billy Eric Robinson
Olin Britt - Joshua Steckelberg
Mayor Shinn - Monte Dibben
Eulalie Shinn - Kendra Campbell
Tommy Djilas - Wyatt Schmitt
Zaneeta Shinn - Trinnity McMillen
Winthrop - Shelton Holt
Amaryllis - Margaret Campbell
Alma Hix - Danette Whiteley
Maud Dunlop - Lela Campbell
Ethel Toffelmier - Hannah Knox
Charlie Cowell - Teagan Decker
Gracie Shinn - Claire Cormack
Constable/Conductor - Nathan Hylton
Ensemble - Lewis Trotter, Makenzie Hall, Maren Meneley, Jacobi Robinson, Matthew Walter, Naomi Waldrop, Rachel Ely, Gracie Hylton, Charlie Hylton, Nolan Hall, Ethan Hall, George Campbell, Brantley Austin
Season Underwriter: Astra Bank
Show Sponsor: Sue & John Kollhoff