Trouble in River City – R2P does Music Man at Dryden High School

by imageguy

Well the 2010 season for Running To Places has begun and begun with a blockbuster show. On January 8th, 9th, and 10th it was The Music Man at Dryden High School, and despite the snowy weather, a nearly full house at every performance. The cast and crew and orchestra brought them to their feet with every performance and rightfully so. These kids amaze me every time I see them.

You Gotta Know The Territory

The list of stunning performances begins with Nathan Hilgartner as Harold Hill, the fast talking, smooth and calculating traveling salesman who convinces River City that only a marching band can save the young folk from the depths of depravity. Nathan knocked ’em dead with great delivery, wonderful expression, and masterful control of the stage. His brother, Kevin, played a great cohort in crime as Marcellus. These guys make a great team.

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Harold finds his plan nearly backfires as he falls for the bewitching yet reluctant librarian, Marian, played by Sari Koppel. Just as in previous shows, Sari’s gorgeous, pure, melodic voice, mature beyond her young age, was captivating throughout the entire production. Her talent and her love for music make for an amazing experience considering this is a local youth theater company.

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Sari’s vocal virtuosity was not the only shining example in this production. The four school board members who discovered they made an amazing quartet were equally as stunning and wowed the audience with one number after another. Made up of Jacob Clay, Marcel Merwin, Adam Beckwith, and Jeremy Pletter, these four guys were tops with amazing harmonies of the best in barber shop quartets.

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Additional great, entertaining performances came from Erika Harrington as Eulalie Shinn, the Mayor’s flamboyant wife; Rachel Harrington as the very Irish Mrs. Paroo; James Palmer as Charlie Cowell who tried desperately to foil Harold’s plans; and Elisheva Glaser and Brett Wagner as Amaryllis and Winthrop, promising younger talents.

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Every member of the cast added so much enthusiasm and color to the whole production, and the stage crew made the whole thing flow with precision. Top it all off with an amazing orchestra conducted by Jon Riss, and it was a fantastic opening for this year’s season. How are you going to top this R2P? It was a delight to attend and I can hardly wait for the next production.

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All photographs are Copyright © George Cannon.  Images from this show and previous seasons are available for purchase at and 20% of all sales goes back to Running To Places.