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BWW REVIEW: 'Ya Got Trouble' In Centerpoint Legacy's THE MUSIC MAN

Don't miss the big brass band playing now through May 15!

BWW REVIEW: 'Ya Got Trouble' In Centerpoint Legacy's THE MUSIC MAN

When you audition for a show at CenterPoint Legacy Theatre, you don't expect it to take more than a year for the curtain to be drawn on opening night.

Last March, director Shelby Ferrin and the entire cast were eagerly awaiting to bring THE MUSIC MAN (Book, Music and Lyrics by Meredith Wilson) to the people of Utah, only for the theatre (and the world) to be shut down just one day before opening night due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Perhaps it was due to all that waiting and anticipation that the cast absolutely sparkled from the very first note when it finally opened more than a year later on April 16, 2021.

THE MUSIC MAN is the story of a smooth-talking salesman, Harold Hill, played by Ben Lowell (double cast as Russell Maxfield), who steps off the train in River City, Iowa, already having earned a bad rep with fellow traveling salesmen. Lowell did a fantastic job in his role of the con artist ready and willing to do whatever it takes to put the whole town in a trance long enough to take their money and run. His portrayal was reminiscent of Robert Preston, who starred in the 1962 film version of the show, in which Hill manages to sell uniforms and band equipment to an entire town of young men who have never touched an instrument. He somehow convinces the whole town that they'll be able to learn to play using his unprecedented "Think System," but all along he plans to skip town before anyone catches on to his scheming ways. The only problem?BWW REVIEW: 'Ya Got Trouble' In Centerpoint Legacy's THE MUSIC MAN

The local librarian. Marianne Paroo, beautifully portrayed by Julie Barker Meier (double cast as Mailee Halpin), is both a skeptic and an admirer of Hill from the start. Meier's stunning vibrato carried into the back of the rafters as she sang some of the show's most recognized songs, "'Til There Was You" and "Goodnight, My Someone." So it's no surprise when, as Hill becomes more smitten with miss Marianne, his plan slowly starts to unravel.

Still, along the way he manages to turn the town council members, known for their lifelong bickering, into an inseparable singing quartet. The quartet, made up of Jacey Squires played by Wayne Shipley (double cast as Nathan Asay), Ewart Dunlop played by Jon Moody (double cast as Eric Corrington), Oliver Hix played by Aaron Burgoyne (double cast as Paul Dixon), and Olin Britt played by Rob Severinsen (double cast as Jeffery Duncan), was absolutely on point with their four-part harmonies. Their numbers leave you feeling nostalgic for simpler times and charming ragtime tunes.

Hill also manages to charm Miss Paroo's mother, played by Wanda Copier (double cast as Judy Cook Binns), and brother Winthrop, played by Boston Clemens (double cast as Micah Thornton). Copier was wonderfully loveable in the role, with her thick Irish accent and snarky demeanor, while Clemens was perfectly sweet as he expertly delivered the famed song, "Gary, Indiana" with sincerity and gusto.

Another standout in the show was Jocelyn Stayner Gibbons as Eulalie Shinn (double cast as Angela Brown), who was an absolute hoot as the mayor's wife and town gossip. She brought fun and laughter to the room every time she entered the stage. Between her and the "Pick-a-Little" ladies, their time on stage was a true delight.

HAMILTON gets a lot of credit for its use of rap and rhyme to tell a story, but THE MUSIC MAN is also full of fast-flowing, tongue-twisting lyrics that this cast delivered flawlessly. Kudos to the actors in the opening number who not only managed to successfully keep their rhythm, but also for doing it while bouncing slightly to (very believably) convey the feeling that the train they were on was actually moving.

This cast was exceptional. All the women in the show danced like fairy princesses on a moonbeam floor, and the entire cast shined with their fast and fancy footwork, thanks to the brilliant choreography of Aaron Ford.

I'd be remiss not to mention the sensational sets for this show, which whisk you away from town halls to front porches, and libraries to living rooms. Scenic designer Ricky Parkinson and scenic charge artist Cynthia Klumpp have done a phenomenal job transporting the audience directly to River City, Iowa, where trouble is brewing...and you don't want to miss it.

You have until May 15 to see this classic family friendly musical at CenterPoint Legacy Theatre. Concessions remain halted and masks are still required throughout the entirety of the show for COVID-19 protocols, but this performance finally felt a little closer to normal. Find showtimes and tickets at: https://www.tix.com/ticket-sales/centerpointtheatre/3197?productionidlist=172552 or call 801-298-1302.


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