BWW Review: Candlelight's THE MUSIC MAN is Joyfully Quintessential

BWW Review: Candlelight's THE MUSIC MAN is Joyfully Quintessential There are some shows that are just easy to love. It's been 60 years since The Music Man premiered on Broadway, but the classic tuner hasn't lost its allure. In fact, this is the show that launched Candlelight Dinner Playhouse back in 2008. The Johnstown theatre has brought it back as their 10th season opener.

Set in 1912 River City, Iowa, Meredith Wilson's musical chronicles traveling con-man Harold Hill as he convinces the townsfolk an all-boys marching band, complete with shiny new instruments and uniforms, is a better use of time than the town's new pool table. Except Harold knows nearly nothing about music, as he plans to collect their cash and skip town before the children even perform. As he attempts to woo the local music teacher and librarian, Marian Paroo, Harold ends up falling for her, throwing a wrench in his scheme.

BWW Review: Candlelight's THE MUSIC MAN is Joyfully QuintessentialBob Hoppe, a Candlelight vet you'll recognize from Singin' in the Rain, plays huckster Harold with a wit as quick as his tongue. His smooth-voiced portrayal is instantly iconic, giving the classic character the kind of charm that keep crowds wrapped around his finger. He's coupled with Alisha Winter-Hayes as Marian, with a lovely soprano voice, who finds a beautiful balance between strength and sensitivity in her characterization.

The ensemble features a number of standouts. The Mayor and his wife, Eualalie Mackecknie Shinn, played respectively by Tom Mullin and Annie Dwyer, are dynamically funny-Dwyer frequently steals every scene she's in. Scotty Shaffer plays Marcellus Washburn, Harold's friend and former con-man, just the way he should with a goofy personality. The school board quartet (Kent Sugg, Ethan Lee Knowles, Anthony Weber and David L. Wygant) shines with tight harmonies and are a treat to hear.

BWW Review: Candlelight's THE MUSIC MAN is Joyfully QuintessentialYou'll be humming along to the timeless score for days, featuring catchy songs like " (Ya Got) Trouble," "Seventy-Six Trombones," "The Wells Fargo Wagon" and even a rousing "Shipoopi."

Directed by Alicia King Myers, The Music Man has just the right balance of heart and humor. Scenic design by Michael Grittner is fun and colorful, capturing the show's playful spirit. Judy Ernst's costume design highlights a bygone era from more than a century ago. And there's a fun finale you might not see in every production, making this one worth catching.

Candlelight Dinner Playhouse's The Music Man is joyfully quintessential dinner theatre. Dinner and show tickets can be purchased by calling Candlelight's box office (970-744-3747) or online at

Photos by RDG Photography


Thursday, Friday & Saturday Evenings -- Dinner seating at 6pm; Show at 7:30pm
Saturday Matinees - Dinner seating at noon, show at 1:30pm
Sunday Matinees - Dinner seating at 12:30pm; Show at 2pm


Adult Dinner & Show Tickets: $52.95 ? $62.95 (based on day of week)
Child (5?12) Dinner & Show Tickets: $29.95 (any performance)
Student (13-18) Dinner & Show Tickets: $39.95 (any performance)
Adult Show-Only Tickets: $29.95 (any performance; seating restrictions)

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