Drayton Festival Theatre to Present THE MUSIC MAN

Sound the trombones! Join the parade and march on over to the Drayton Festival Theatre for a beloved Broadway classic in celebration of the theatre's 25th Anniversary. Meredith Willson's The Music Man is guaranteed to hit a high note as it entertains audiences of all ages from August 5th to August 29th.

The Music Man follows Professor Harold Hill, a charismatic con man who arrives in River City, Iowa and proceeds to turn it upside down. Hill's particular con involves tricking the townsfolk into buying instruments and uniforms for a boys' band, despite the fact he doesn't know a trombone from a treble clef. His plans to skip town with the cash are foiled when he falls for the town's lively librarian and piano teacher, Marian Paroo.

Featuring exuberant dance numbers and cherished classics like "Ya Got Trouble," "Seventy-Six Trombones" and "Till There Was You," The Music Man promises to do anything but rain on your parade.

"The Music Man is treasured by audiences young and old," says Alex Mustakas, Artistic Director of Drayton Entertainment. "This Broadway blockbuster will cap the Drayton Festival Theatre's 25th Anniversary Season in spectacular fashion."

The family-friendly musical is brought to life on stage by Director and Choreographer Michael Lichtefeld who has directed musicals all over the world from Australia and New Zealand to Japan and Europe, as well as in the U.S. and Canada. Lichtefeld has helmed several musicals for Drayton Entertainment including South Pacific, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Evita and Irving Berlin's White Christmas, which will play at the Dunfield Theatre Cambridge later this year in time for the holiday season.

Lichtefeld is joined by Music Director Steve Thomas, Set Designer Douglas Paraschuk, Costume Designer Rachel Berchtold, and Lighting Designer Kevin Fraser.

A stellar cast has been assembled for this grand-scale production. David Rogers stars as the smooth-talking Professor Harold Hill. Rogers has been on stage with Drayton Entertainment in countless shows since he made his debut in She Loves Me in 1996. Audiences will likely best remember him as the heroic prisoner Jean Valjean in last season's highly acclaimed production of LES MISERABLES. Rogers also performed his tour de force one man show Broadway Heroes last fall in Cambridge, paying tribute to Broadway's top leading men. He was also one of the original stars of The Phantom of the Opera in Toronto, playing both Raoul and later the Phantom himself. Rogers' remarkable voice and irrefutable charm are sure to delight theatregoers.

Fresh from her starring role as Roxie Hart in Chicago, leading lady Jayme Armstrong turns over a new leaf as the wise and winsome Marian Paroo, the town's prim librarian and the object of Professor Hill's affections. She is joined by Valerie Boyle as Marian's mother Mrs. Paroo, and 11-year-old Declan Cooper as Marian's adorable little brother, Winthrop.

Wade Lynch is Marcellus Washburn, Harold's best friend and former fellow conman. Lynch has appeared in many Drayton Entertainment productions, including hairdresser Tony Whitcomb in Shear Madness. He was seen earlier this season as Freda Heitz in The Last Resort at the St. Jacobs Country Playhouse. Christina Gordon is his cheerful girlfriend, Ethel Toffelmier.

Drayton Entertainment favourite Keith Savage is the pompous and preposterous Mayor Shinn with Karen K. Edissi as his wife Eulalie Mackecknie Shinn. Danielle Benton takes on the role of the Mayor's petulant teenage daughter Zaneeta with Graeme Goodhall as Zaneeta's spirited admirer Tommy Djilas.

Fan favourites The Mantini Sisters will also all appear in the production - Barbara Mantini as Maud Dunlop, Sandra Mantini as Mrs. Squires and Ann Mantini as Alma Hix. Brian Belleth, Derrick Miller, Christopher Wilson and Arthur Wright take on the roles of Jacey Squires, Ewart Dunlop, Olin Britt and Oliver Hix respectively, singing the famous quartet "Lida Rose."

Dean Hollin, who recently starred as Billy Flynn in Drayton Entertainment's hit production of Chicago, plays double duty as Charlie Cowell, a travelling salesman out to get Professor Hill and Constable Locke, River City's stern and dedicated lead police officer.

Ten-year-old Grand Bend native Anna Bartlam plays the precocious Amaryllis, one of Marian's piano students. Bartlam has amassed an impressive résumé even at her tender age, having appeared as Susan in Irving Berlin's White Christmas, Marta in The South of Music, and Molly in Annie for Drayton Entertainment.

Rounding out the ensemble are Rachel Clark, Jennifer Mote, Gregory Pember, Stephen Roberts, Ainsley Roy and Adam Sergison.

In addition to the professional cast, 12 local children have been given the unique opportunity to perform on the Drayton Festival Theatre stage in this production. Youngsters from across Waterloo Region and beyond came out to audition at an open call last month hoping to land one of the coveted spots. The Drayton Festival Theatre will welcome the following young performers as members of the Children's Ensemble in The Music Man:

· Jordan Goodridge of Brantford

· Lauren Hastings of Cambridge

· Lilly Bartlam of Grand Bend

· Belle Lemieux-Chan of Guelph

· Logan Brideau of Heidelberg

· Connor Johannes, Marina Levair and Abigail Smythe of Kitchener

· Callum Thompson and Carlee MacKenzie of London

· Neilla Keller of Stratford

· Charlotte Arndt of Waterloo

"The Music Man is funny, warm, romantic and touching," says Mustakas. "It truly is family entertainment at its best."

The Music Man is proudly sponsored by Burnside. Media Sponsors are CHYM 96.7 FM, 570 News and The Waterloo Region Record. The Design Sponsor is Cherrey Bus Lines Inc. The 2015 Season Media Sponsor is CTV.

Don't miss your chance to grab a trombone and strike up the band - The Music Man is only on stage from August 5th to August 29th and theatregoers are encouraged to book in advance to avoid disappointment.

Tickets are $42 for adults and $25 for youth under 20 years of age. Tickets for groups of 20 or more are $34. HST is applicable to all ticket prices. Tickets may be purchased online at www.draytonfestivaltheatre.com, in person at the theatre Box Office, or by calling (519) 638-5555 or toll free 1-855-DRAYTON (372-9866).



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